Preserved lemons


I’d never heard of preserved lemons until I bought Yotam Ottolenghi’s books. You can add them to almost anything and the flavour just pops with an intensity of lemon. I do love lemons, so needless to say, these preserved ones are right up my street.

The first time I made them I wasn’t too fussy about the type of lemon I bought. I was eager to get them preserving so that I could taste them as soon as possible. As you know patience is definitely a practiced virtue and I don’t practice very often. I followed the recipe from Sami Tamimi’s and Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook. This recipe is widely shared on the internet so I am happy to share it here too

The second time I made them I was a bit more picky about the lemons. My first batch of preserved lemons was great, but I did feel a little irritated by having to make sure all the pips were picked out before adding them to my dish of choice. Pips are bitter and that definitely will affect the flavour of my food. So my lemon of choice is the Woolworths Lemon Gold. Also, on my second rodeo, I decided to cut the lemons all the way through once I split them into two separate jars. It is easier to whip out a quarter lemon at a time than a whole lemon and then shove it back in the jar without contaminating the entire jar each time I needed preserved lemons.

Jerusalem Preserved lemons


  • 6 Woolworths Lemon Gold seedless and supper juicy
  • 6 Tbls coarse sea salt
  • 6 juice of lemons needed after a week
  • olive oil to cover needed after a week


  • choice of rosemary, chilli, thyme, garlic needed after a week


  • Get your equipment ready,Chopping board, sharp knife, salt, sterilised jar big enough for 6 lemons. I doubled my recipe that's why I have a big jar.
  • Wash lemons and cut lemon in half (vertically top to bottom) stopping ¾ of the way down so lemon is still joined at base. rotate and cut in half again repeating as above. You will now have 4 quarters but they are all still joined at base.
  • Fill the cut lemons with 1 tbls spoon each of coarse salt.
  • Place the lemons onto the jar, squeezing them to fit tightly together. Cose the lid tightly and leave in a cool place for 1 week
  • After 1 week I decided to put the preserved lemons into 2 jars for easy access and less possible contamination. After dividing them in half
  • Top each container with the lemon juice and your choice of aromatics. The lemons should be completely immersed in the lemon juice.Add about 2 cm olive oil to each jar and close tightly. Leave in a cool place for at least 4 weeks. Once ready open taste and refrigerate for 6-12 months.

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