This experiment happened when we were about to go travelling for a month and I had a whole lot of lemons in my fridge. Sure, I could have peeled and frozen them to use later in juice or summer mocktails. But I thought it was about time to try out a new preserve, something I’ve seen trending in loads of recipes. It was time to venture into the sour and savory world of Moroccan Preserved Lemons.
Now before you begin to ponder why on earth you would make these, stay with me. Way down at the bottom of this post, I’ve shared some delicious recipes from members of the Food Bloggers of Canada community to offer a little preserved lemon culinary inspiration.
This is where our preserved lemon adventure begins.
how to make moroccan inspired preserved lemons
I read about a few different ways to make these. Many recipes recommend that you juice half the lemons first, but I managed to skip this step and if steps can be skipped, let’s skip them.
- Step 1: Carefully and diligently scrub your 1/2 dozen organic lemons.
- Step 2: Slice off the tops and bottoms, and then slice the lemon in quarters, down about 1/2 of the way – don’t cut the lemon fully into quarters.
- Step 3: Make your preserved lemon preserving mix.
For this step, you can go with straight up sea salt or get a little fancy by adding other spices to the mix. I added cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to mine, which is completely optional.
Sweet and Savoury Moroccan Lemon Preserving Salt
- 1/3 cup sea salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
Mix together and use on your lemons (or save for a quick and easy seasoning mix!)
- Step 4: Carefully open you lemon ever so slightly and spoon in the preserving mix. Repeat with each lemon and then place in a sterilized mason jar. I typically just clean mine really well first with super hot water.
- Step 5: After your lemons are in the clean jar, use a wooden spoon or tamper to smush down the lemons (I use the tamper from my Vitamix). They’ll release their juices enough to fully submerge the lemons. If your lemons don’t make enough juice to cover, simply cheat it on up by juicing a few extra lemons and adding the juice to the jar.
- Step 6: Practice patience for four long weeks while you wait for the preserving effects to take hold.
- Step 7: Start cooking up awesomeness using your homemade preserved lemons.
7 Delicious Recipes That Use Preserved Lemons
I’ll be honest, I have yet to craft up any brand new recipes with my lemons (I’m eight months pregnant as I write this so I’m not doing much fancy recipe creation at all). But I didn’t want to leave you wanting and so I am thrilled to share with you these delicious recipes from some of the inspiring and talented members of Food Bloggers of Canada.
Moroccan Chana Dal Stew with Green Olives + Preserved Lemons
By The Taste Space
One pot meals are my fave and this vegan recipe is protein and fibre-rich, with a briny sourness from the olives and moroccan preserved lemons. Yum.
Preserved Lemon Quinoa
By Simple Bites
This ultra-simple quinoa salad with shaved Brussels sprouts and walnuts makes a wonderful light dinner or lunch. It also packs beautifully into a mason jar for on-the-go meals.
Smoky Eggplant Spread
By The Yum Yum Factor
Take babaganoush to the next level by adding Moroccan preserved lemons for both flavour and colour.
Strawberry and Preserved Lemon Lassi
By Simple Bites
A refreshing beverage that makes the perfect summer mocktail. For a dairy-free version, try fermenting your own coconut kefir – it’s super easy to do.
Chicken with Saffron and Preserved Lemon
This recipe stuffs preserved lemons underneath the chicken skin for even more flavour. For a dairy-free butter alternative, try ghee or coconut oil.
Chicken with Preserved Lemon Chermoula + Radish Quinoa Tabbouleh
By The Yum Yum Factor
Middle Eastern Roasted Carrots with Harissa Preserved Lemon Dressing
By At the Immigrant’s Table
One you have your jar of Moroccan preserved lemons, this harissa-preserved lemon dressing will become your go-to.