Preserved Lemons

preserved lemons

If you’re worried that preserved lemons take a lot of effort or time don’t worry about it anymore. Don’t get me wrong, it does take time. But just waiting time. Not actual work time.

If you’re not convinced about just how easy this is to do, let me tell you a story.

On a particularly miserable January morning I woke up feeling really gross. I suppose I hadn’t slept well, Levi’s cold was still lingering in the house, and I was really worried that I was going to get the horrible flu that everyone was getting. So instead of dragging my butt out of bed, spending forever getting ready for work, driving in -40 windchill (in both °F and °C that’s stupid cold)  to work, sitting at work miserable and ruining everyone’s day I decided to work from home.

At one of my previous jobs I spent five years working from home. It was glorious, but towards the end I craved interaction with my co-workers and some stuff just was better done in person.

Now though, working from home happens so rarely that it really feels like a treat again.

You can stay in comfy clothes. No makeup required. Your hair can get tossed up thoughtlessly into a clip. The dogs and cat can lounge beside you while you work in your slippers.

On that miserable January day I wager I got more work done than I would have if I’d gone into the office. I am thankful I have such flexible employers.

So what does this have to do with preserved lemons? Well, at around 10:37 on that January morning I needed a break from my desk. I stood up walked down to the kitchen and grabbed a bag of lemons that I had scrubbed clean. I sterilized one jar and proceeded to pack it with kosher salt and cut lemons. The entire process from start to finish took me around 15 minutes.

fresh lemons

I found the method and instructions for preparing preserved lemons here. I followed the instructions to the letter. They worked. You should follow them too.

I realize that this is not really a recipe. But I have a few recipes that I’ve made with these preserved lemons. Those are coming later. Go make the preserved lemons and they’ll be ready when the recipes get posted.

Saskatoon foodies must have lemons on the brain. Local chef Simon of Simon’s Fine Foods posted just yesterday his recipe and steps for making preserved lemons. Looks like we use a relatively similar method but he’s been adventurous and added some other seasonings. Yum.


    • says

      Preserved lemons are quite common in North African – Moroccan and Middle Eastern dishes. Some regional Italian dishes use preserved lemons too. I’ve got a few recipes lined up to suit different tastes coming in the next few months. If you Google ‘preserved lemon recipes’ it’ll give you a good idea of the variety of things you can use preserved lemons in.

  1. says

    You use the soft pulpy skins to chop/puree into tagines, chop through pastas add to hummus in fact anywhere lemon is used.
    My batch is almost ready to use I think yours Megan was a few days ahead of mine and ready?

    • says

      Yep Simon they were ready the end of last week. They turned out so great. I’m kind of impressed with myself. I’ll be using some tonight in a pasta and greens dish in fact.

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