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Jan 20, 2007 12:33 PM

Preserved lemons?

I have never had a preserved lemon and can't find them outside of mail order. What can I use instead? It's to be used in a salmon recipe:

Tagine of Salmon with Capers and Preserved Lemons

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  1. They're very easy to make at home, I use Patricia Wells's recipe from her Provence cookbook, though you won't be able to use them in your recipe until they're, well, preserved, after a couple of weeks. You could try subbing fresh lemon but you won't have the same luscious texture as the preserved version.

    1. If you're anywhere near Houston, you can get them at Phoenicia on Westheimer.

      1. I also discovered preserved lemons from Patricia Wells’ AT HOME IN PROVENCE, easily one of the best cookbooks ever published. (That book changed my approach to cooking.) Do start preserving them yourself; it is so easy and after you try it the first time and start to use them, you will always want to have some preserved lemons in your fridge.

        Here is the recipe (I always double it):


        2 lemons, preferably organic
        1/3 cup Coarse Sea Salt
        1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
        About 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

        Scrub the lemons and dry them well. Cut each lemon lengthwise into 8 wedges. In a bowl, toss the lemon wedges, salt and lemon juice to coat the fruit. Transfer to a 2-cup glass container with a non-metal lid. Close the container tightly and let the lemons ripen at room temperature for 7 days. She the container daily to evenly distribute the salt and juices. To store, add olive oil to cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.


        I use the juices from the container in salad dressings, marinades, etc. My favorite way to roast a chicken, now, is to rub the insides and outside of a chicken with the juices, along with garlic, herbs and salt, and put a few of the lemons inside the cavity with an onion as well. Yum. You can use the juices to spread on fish or chicken before grilling, even a steak. And I love to chop up the lemons themselves and add them to couscous or salads made of grains and vegetables. There are so many uses for them. Do give it a try!

        1. I tried to preserve whole lemons in a large canning jar last year - and they appeared to grow mold! It was really gross, after a few months my roommate insisted I throw them out. I can't remember where I got the recipe. Is it because my container was really huge, so I didn't fill it all the way to the top with olive oil? Or could it be because I didn't refrigerate?

          1 Reply
          1. re: dubedo

            did you wash the lemons first? leaving them whole also may have been a factor. the pieces need to be submerged in the liquid.

          2. Thanks for the recipe!! Sooooo easy. I have never had them but I loveeeeee lemons. Question: so the olive oil listed is to be used to cover after the 7 days and you do not add the 1/2 cup as part of the initial liquid?

            Wonder if I can use slices instead of wedges.