Preserved Lemons

  • Serves

    makes about 1 quart


As lemons cure in a salty, spicy brine, their flesh softens and sweetens; after a month, they're ready to be finely chopped and added to everything from Moroccan tagines to vinaigrettes.


  • 6 medium lemons
  • 14 cup kosher salt
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 12 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 12 tsp. nigella seeds
  • 14 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf


Step 1

Quarter each lemon lengthwise so that it stays attached by about 1⁄2" at the stem end. Place lemons in a bowl and stuff with the salt. Transfer lemons to a sterilized 1-qt. glass jar and add the lemon juice, peppercorns, cumin, coriander, nigella, and fenugreek seeds, allspice, cinnamon, and bay leaf; seal with a tight-fitting lid and set aside in a dark place, shaking jar every other day or so, until lemons are soft, about 1 month. Refrigerate after opening, and use within 2 weeks.

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