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Jan 3, 2008 08:43 AM

Best Uses for Homemade Preserved Lemons?

My first batch of preserved lemons is almost ready. They were so easy and look gorgeous, though I'm not sure exactly what to do with them. Do I use the peel only? And what are they best in? Any ideas appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. I add a tablespoon or two of them to this Moroccan lamb dish,

    I usually use a spoon to scoop some of the oil covering them out of the jar and mince the actual lemons before stirring them in. I use 2 28oz cans of tomatoes, deglaze with white wine, extra ginger and cayenne, and omit the fennel seed in the recipe. I've also added them to braised Mediterranean chicken dishes.

    1. Use it all! I use the juices that form 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. 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.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Tom P

        I've been using Tom P's recipe for preserved lemons for several months, now. I'm on my third batch. I never roast a chicken without them, and I use them in pasta dishes and lemon spaghetti. I also use all of each lemon, chopped up, and the "goop". as Tom P calls it. Muy delicioso!

        1. re: cookingschool

          hey! So glad you are enjoying them. Can you tell me how you make your lemon spaghetti? That sounds terrific.

          1. re: Tom P

            It's actually Giada's recipe, except I use the preserved lemons instead of juice and zest. Just combine 2/3 c or so of olive oil, some freshly-grated parmesan, salt and pepper, and a few chopped preserved lemons with some of the goop at room temp. I use that as a sauce for the cooked pasta. Use a little of the pasta water if necessary. Toss with some fresh basil.

      2. You'll find this on Epicurious - one of my favorite dishes to make and always a hit:
        Israeli couscous with butternut squash and preserved lemon. Preserved lemons were featured in Gourmet back in 1999, which is where this recipe came from.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Concetta

          They're wonderful in any kind of fish/shellfish soup (Bouillabaisse-type). Also great in any of the many tajine recipes you can find on line. Just search for tajine and preserved lemons. Paula Wolfert and Claudia Roden have lots of recipes, too. Wolfert has a website.

          1. re: oakjoan

            As oakjoan eludes to, preserved lemons scream for tagine recipes. And Paula Wolfert is the Queen of Tagine!

          2. re: Concetta

            Thanks for the Epicurious suggestion: I found it quickly with a search and will try it very soon. Have Israeli couscous, butternut squash and preserved lemons on hand and come to think of it, all of the other ingredients as well! We love anything with lemon and I've been looking for more ideas to use the preserved ones I made....

          3. I usually just use the peel, although I've done subtler fish recipes that call for just the pulp. In my experience the peel is julienned or diced and added at the end of cooking, since otherwise its pungent flavor could overwhelm the other seasonings.

            1. I experiment any place where an olive or lemon is usually found. Has made nice change to home made tartar sauce and also fun as a riff on gremolata. Have mixed it with fennel to stuff whole fish. Tried it & brine instead of olives for a dirty martini - actually brought the olives to my fav bar & they made it - the idea was better than the reality. However, the restaurants' cooks came out to try them (the lemons) & we had some great brainstorming on possible uses! I have added them to grain based salads like quinoa & couscous. Also to chicken salad. Little slivers are nice garnishes, especially on hors d'oeuvres. They are very versatile - for me the hardest part is remembering they are in the fridge!