Two for Tuesday blog hop!! Preserved lemons.

This post is a part of the Two-For-Tuesday blog carnival.

To see my post on the medicinal properties of lemon, click HERE.

When my family moved to California 12 years ago, we planted a lemon tree in the garden outside my bedroom. It must have been the perfect spot (or on top of radioactive waste), because this tree grew bigger, stronger and faster than any lemon tree I’ve ever seen. I would, over the course of this 12 years, curl up and meditate with my back against its trunk, or lay out a blanket underneath its blossom-heavy branches and spend the night wrapped up in its scent. When I moved to Los Angeles a couple of years ago, one of the things I missed the most was, other than lemon-blossom infused dreams, the fruit. This tree has the the biggest lemons I’ve ever seen in my life. Chernobyl-style lemons. Luckily, I usually have a steady supply of lemons that my mum preserves for me. Preserved lemons can be used for so many different things, and I use them all the time in salads and stews. So imagine my horror a couple of weeks ago when I reached into my preserve cupboard and grabbed the LAST JAR of preserved lemons.Ā I was distraught. I didn’t know what to do. I contemplated going to the store and buying a few pounds of lemons to preserve, but somehow that seemed silly– the whole purpose of preserving is to store things that you have in excess, not to spend lots of money just to fill your cupboards with things. Regardless, I was upset. When I used the last two pieces, I may have shed a tear or two.

But a few days ago I opened my front door, to do my pre-dawn-sit-on-the-front-steps thing, and there was a WHOLE BAG of lemons just sitting there waiting for me! After thanking the lemon-fairies, I realised that it was probably my neighbour, Edith, who has a lemon tree, and probably took pity on my plight. Fairy or no, I sure was grateful.

Preserved Lemons

Makes approx. 6 8oz jars

5 lb lemons

12 oz salt

1/4 cup black peppercorns

1/8 cup red pepper flakes

Sterilize the jars either in a hot water bath, or in a very hot oven for 15 minutes, and remove to cool (until they’re warm, not roasting hot). Meanwhile, cut the lemons, lengthwise, into quarters, and place in a big metal bowl. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the salt, tossing the lemons about. Sprinkle with another third, and repeat. Pour the last of the salt over the lemons, and make sure each quarter is covered.

Divide the peppercorns and chili flakes between each of the jars, sprinkling them into the bottoms. Then start to stuff the lemons in. Squeeze the juice from each lemon quarter into the jar, then wedge it down into the bottom. Keep doing this until you have a jar that is full of lemons and lemon juice. The juice should cover the lemons, and there should be about 1/4 inch space at the top. Screw on the lids, label, and store for 3 weeks before using. Use within 2 years.

Preserved lemon and tomato salad

2 pieces preserved lemon.

5 juicy ripe heirloom tomatoes


5 sprigs basil, chopped



olive oil

apple cider vinegar

Scoop the flesh out of the preserved lemon, and discard. Rinse the rind in cold water, then chop into small pieces. Chop the tomato into chunks, and toss in a bowl with the lemons, some crumbled feta, and the basil. Season, and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar.

13 Responses to “Two for Tuesday blog hop!! Preserved lemons.”
  1. Where oh where is my lemon fairy?!? I made preserved lima dulce a few months ago and found them to be a nice sub for meyer lemons. Of course, I don’t have any local citrus šŸ˜¦ Too bad because preserved lemons are so fab in stews. Thank you for sharing at Two for Tuesday. I love your wisdom regarding herbal medicine!!!!

  2. April Harris says:

    I really enjoyed your post – your preserved lemons look so delicious!

  3. Chef Dennis says:

    I have been seeing more and more preserved lemons, I think I am going to have to make some!!
    thanks for the inspiration and welcome to food buzz!

  4. girlichef says:

    Oh, how amazing to live in a region where citrus trees can grow in your own yard! My fabulous fairies leave me cucs, zuccs, and tomatoes galore (blessed beings)…but I’d love to just have one fresh-picked lemon on my stoop one day! Preserving lemons is one of those things I’ve always “meant” to do…along with making Limoncello…you’ve inspired me again. I’m on the look-out for some good lemons flown in my way šŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for always sharing with Two for Tuesdays…I look forward to your posts!

  5. MY GODDESS bekka!!! I am literally drooling all over the place! OH my what beautiful lemons! My granny had a lime tree growing in her garden in Puerto Rico when i was a little girl, and this so reminded me of her! As for the tree…can you say guardian tree? lol Lucky girl! Thanks so much for sharing this with us on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop! šŸ™‚ alex@amoderatelife

  6. Christy says:

    Those lemons are amazing – so full of sunshine. I can see why you may have shed a tear! The salad is sunshine in a bowl – thanks for linking to Two for Tuesdays!

  7. What a cute story. I like preserved lemons, but I agree, I always feel silly going out and buying something, just to preserve it. I’ve always dreamt of having a fruit tree in my backyard. I’ve always dreamt of having a backyard, at all, actually. With a fruit tree. And a swing.

    • fairybekk says:

      Me too, Red… a big backyard that’s all mine, with a peach tree, an apple tree, a mulberry tree, an avocado tree, a big vegetable patch, and yes, a swing. *sigh*

  8. Stacia says:

    Wow! I never knew you could preserve lemons!! My grandparents have a tree, and hubby’s parents have a tree. I love large, homegrown lemons. Can’t help but chuckle at the store, seeing those tiny yellow things they call lemons. šŸ™‚

    • fairybekk says:

      You can! They’re commonly used in Middle Eastern and North African cooking. I throw them in stews and salads a lot.

  9. Kitvy says:

    I enjoy your website.
    Your preserved lemons look so yummy!

  10. Bethany says:

    Oh, I wish I had a lemon fairy, and that my breastfeeding son could tolerate it when I eat lemons… oh, well, maybe some day. I will definitely be keeping this post in mind for that “someday” šŸ˜‰ These sound amazing and the salad looks absolutely WONDERFUL! So fresh and light – I love it. Thanks so much for sharing this with Two for Tuesdays!

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