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Homemade Holiday Gift Recipe: Preserved Lemons

December 17th, 2015
Center for Food Safety

This culinary favorite can brighten up any dish. We’re partial to Meyer lemons, but any variety will work. The lemons are rinsed before they are added to stews, tagines, soups, and couscous dishes. Only the rind is used while the flesh gets discarded.


Organic lemons, washed

Kosher salt

Sterilized wide-mouth jar with a tight-fitting lid


  1. Cut the lemons (not quite all the way through) into quarters, keeping them attached at the stem.
  2. Working over a bowl, pack the inside of each lemon with kosher salt.
  3. Tightly pack the salt-filled lemons into the sterilized container.
  4. Pour more salt over the lemons as you fill the container.
  5. Cover the salt-packed lemons with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  6. Store the jars in the refrigerator, turning occasionally for the first few weeks to moisten all the lemons with the brine. The lemons should eventually become submerged in this brine. If the brine doesn’t completely cover them after a month, use a metal spoon to press the lemons down. Use after a month in the fridge.

Preserved lemons will last up to 1 year in the fridge.

Happy holidays from all of us here at Center for Food Safety!

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