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How To Preserve Lemons (VIDEO)

First Posted: 03/06/2012 8:03 am Updated: 08/31/2012 10:48 am

Everyone knows that lemons add lots of flavor to food, whether it's sweet or savory, but typically recipes only call for using the juice or the zest -- whole lemons are just too concentrated to use in their entirety ... or are they? If you've never tried a preserved lemon, you've got to now. By storing salt with whole lemons in a jar over a long period of time, lemons take on a whole new quality. Not to mention, it's the perfect way to extend the life of gorgeous in-season citrus.

It's really easy to preserve lemons -- all you need is salt and lots of lemons, stuffed in a jar. The salt preserves the lemons naturally, so there's no need for any artificial preservatives. The lemons last for at least 6 months in the refrigerator. Watch the video above to see how it's done.

When you've got a jar of preserved lemons on hand, it's really easy to reach for them any time you want to add some citrusy flair to a recipe. When people ask "what's that unique flavor?" you can tell them all about preserved lemons. It's a surefire way to impress your family and friends at dinner.

The custom of preserving lemons likely originated in North Africa with Morocco being most famous for them. You can also find them in Southeast Asian cuisine. Use preserved lemons in roasts, stews and braises, and the juice from preserved lemons can also be used to make amazing dips or dressings (it's very salty as you can imagine, so a little bit goes a long way). See some recipes in the gallery below.

Also see:
15 Savory Lemon Recipes
12 Lemon Dessert Recipes

Have you ever used preserved lemons? Leave us a comment below.

Preserved Lemons
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Use this basic recipe to easily make preserved lemons at home. All you need are lemons and salt. Allow the jar of salted lemons to sit on your counter for about 10 days to brine, then store in the refrigerator for 6 months.

Get the Preserved Lemons recipe


Filed by Joseph Erdos  |  Report Corrections