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Preserved Meyer Lemons

Recipe: Preserved Meyer Lemons

Summary: Preserved Lemons, also called lemon pickle, is a traditional condiment in Moroccan and Indian cuisines.


  • 10-12 Meyer lemons
  • Coarse sea salt (I used kosher salt because that’s what I had on hand)


  1. Wash and dry the lemons thoroughly. Remove any green points attached to the ends of the lemons. Cut them in quarters lengthwise. Place 2-3 pieces in a clean, wide-mouth quart sized glass jar, top with a thick layer of salt. Repeat: Lemon, salt, lemon, salt, and so on, all the way to the top, pressing down hard as you go to draw out the juice. Don’t worry if the juices don’t appear immediately; they soon will, with all that salt. The lemons should be totally submerged by their own juice, and reach all the way to the top of the jar. Top with an extra layer of salt to ensure that no lemon skin is exposed (or it may mold). You will need 2 jars. Put the lids on the jars and close tightly.
  2. Place the jars in a dark, cool place (Levana keeps hers under the sink; I put mine in a labeled paper bag and keep it in the dark pantry). They will be ready in two weeks, at which point they should be refrigerated. So after the two weeks of pickling at room temperature, store the jar of lemons in the refrigerator.
  3. To use, take out a quarter of a lemon at a time. Discard the pulp (or put it back in the jar to use later), rinse the skin thoroughly, and mince the skin. Add to fish and chicken dishes, bean soups, salads and salsas.
  4. Makes about 2 quarts.


“The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen,” by Levana Kirschenbaum ($39.95).


Levana calls for regular lemons in the book, and of course you may use regular. I called for Meyer lemons because they are special and I love them. If you don’t like them or have them, use regular lemons. Don’t let the lack of Meyer lemons stop you; just make this!

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Fermenting time: 14 days
Diet type: Vegetarian
Culinary tradition: North African, Moroccan, Indian
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★