Preserved Lemons

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) DRE# 00949880

Preserved lemons are turning into a go to ingredient for us.  We found the recipe in one of our favorite cookbooks, Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.  It takes a few weeks to get them done, but the recipe is not hard and the time spent is well worth it.

Preserved Lemons

6 Lemons (I prefer Meyer's Lemons)
6 T coarse sea salt
2 Rosemary sprigs
1 Large red chili (I used a Jalapeño)
Juice of 6 lemons
Olive oil

Sterilize one canning jar and lid.

Wash lemons, then cut a large, deep X into the top of each lemon and stuff each lemon with one tablespoon of salt.  Add the lemons to the jar.  I never think I will be able to get all six in, but they always seem to just make it.  Seal the jar and store the lemons in a cool, darkish spot for one week.

Stuffing Lemons with salt

At the end of one week, open the jar and push down on the lemons with a wooden spoon to press as much of the juice out of each lemon as possible.  Add 2 sprigs of Rosemary, one chili sliced the long way (I added 2 peppers) and the juice from six lemons to the jar.  Top with a small amount of olive oil and seal.  Place in a cool, darkish space for 4 weeks and wait for the magic to happen.

Preserved lemon ingredients

Uses for Preserved Lemons

  • We have added it to salads and salad dressing.
  • It is great mixed in with mayonnaise and added to a sandwich.  Or try it in the next batch of aioli that you make.
  • It adds a lot of zip to marinades.
  • Try Ottolenghi's Chermoula Eggplant with bulger and yogurt.  It is our favorite way to enjoy eggplant. 
  • I have used it to top sautéed salmon and trout.
  • Add them to roasted potatoes.
  • Add it to your favorite basil pesto.  The pesto is even better!
  • Last night, I made a terrific preserved lemon pasta with anchovies by Martha Stewart.  

Mise en Place for Preserved Lemon and Anchovy Pasta

Mise en place for preserved lemon and anchovy pasta

Other Suggestions

I would love to hear your ideas for using preserved lemons in the comments below.  I think the possibilities are endless. 

Other Realtor Ray Tested Tasty Recipes


Posted by

             eXp Realty of California, Inc

Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, e-Pro

Past Client Testimonials   

3412 Babson Drive

Elk Grove, CA 95758




Comments (36)

Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Ray,
I've never even heard of preserved lemons, so I have no further suggestions for you.  It sounds intriguing, though.

Sep 26, 2022 08:50 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Hi Endre Barath, Jr..  It works well with salmon. I hope you and Diane enjoy it!

Sep 26, 2022 09:11 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400.  I think it will work very well without the chilies.  It might be fun to add a red bell pepper for a nice contrasting color. 

Hi Nina Hollander, Broker.  I understand you can buy preserved lemons, but I do not believe I have ever seen them in a store.  Maybe online?  Anyway, I hope you get a chance to try it.  I did order preserved lemon pasta at a restaurant once and it was very good.

Sep 26, 2022 09:16 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

That is a great idea, Brian England.  One of these days I may make the pasta for you.  It is not that long of a drive for a good meal.  😉

Hi Joan Cox.  You may see it in a restaurant one of these days and I would recommend trying it.  Congratulations on the Bronco win.  

Sep 26, 2022 09:19 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I only heard about them about a year or two ago, Carol Williams.  In our new community, they give out all kinds of citrus so we have to find things to do with all of the lemons.  I can only make so many margaritas out of them, though I try hard to use them ALL that way.  🤣

Sep 26, 2022 09:21 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Ray... you can buy preserved lemons on amazon, at world market, at big lots (when in stock) and I'd guess in all sort of specialty stores.

Sep 27, 2022 03:26 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you for the update, Nina Hollander, Broker.  It could come in handy in a pinch. 🙂

Sep 27, 2022 07:17 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Ray Henson - this would make many great meals. I think the jar of lemons would also be perfect for house warming gifts or holiday gifts too with the message anyone could make lemonade out of lemons. 

Sep 27, 2022 07:59 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I love that idea, Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP.  Thank you for the idea. In our community, people are always giving away their lemons and these preserved lemons are so easy that they would make great gifts.  About a year ago, someone was moving out of the community and had juiced a huge amount of lemons.  He gave it all to us and we are still making lemonade and lemon bars!  

They also give away lots of grapefruit.  I use that them for Greyhounds and Salty Dogs!  Even better than making lemonade! 😎

Sep 27, 2022 08:09 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Ray, I wonder if you could find them at Sprouts or Whole Foods?   May be worth a look to try it. 

Sep 29, 2022 11:22 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

If I am ever in a pinch, I will investigate both Sprouts and Whole Foods, Joan Cox.  I think they are good choices.  Thank you.

Sep 29, 2022 02:16 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Ray, for sharing this interesting post.

I sent it to Chef Dolores on Facebook.

Sep 30, 2022 05:58 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you very much, Roy Kelley and thank you for re-blogging my post.  I always appreciate your support.  I hope Chef Dolores finds the recipe useful and interesting.

Sep 30, 2022 06:11 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Ray,

I will probably try this.  Just a few weeks ago, I started making lemon and olive oil dressing for my salads, and I love the fresh taste.  As soon as I have some time, I will try this.

Sep 30, 2022 06:22 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

You did an excellent job with this tutorial Ray Henson 🙂

Sep 30, 2022 08:36 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Ray - I have lots of Mason Jars and I get get the rest and do this.

Oct 01, 2022 02:50 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I hope you do get a chance to make them, Sheri Sperry - MCNE® and I hope you enjoy them.  If you get a chance, let us know how they turn out.

Thank you, Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS.  It is good to hear from you.

Good morning Grant Schneider.  If you do get a chance to fill those Mason jars, it would be fun to know how they turn out.  

Oct 01, 2022 07:06 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.   Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day!

Oct 02, 2022 06:50 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

I was talking with my friend the other day who said she will not pay $1.49 for one lemon. That is what they cost in my area.  My son has a lemon tree that produces lemons that I've never seen.  I brought her a bag of 25 fresh organic lemons ... she was so happy!  

Now, I will definitely make this.  I will need to get larger Ball jars!  So looking forward to this! 

Oct 02, 2022 03:20 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®.  I always appreciate you stopping by and I hope you have enjoyed your weekend!

Oct 02, 2022 03:21 PM