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Preserved Meyer Lemons – a Speedy Recipe… and what to do with them!


Meyer Lemons are perfect for preserving! With their thin skins, bright lemony-color and fragrant flesh they have a sweeter, more floral taste. These beauties will pickle in their own juices.      

Preserved Lemons in a Vintage Ball Jar - a speedy recipe

I’m curing my Meyer Lemons in a vintage Ball Jar ~ inside the screw cap in a lining, is white milk glass.

Once you have made a jar of Preserved Lemons – believe me you will use them in so many recipes!
These segments of preserved lemons will wow your taste buds!
So quick to make… just need a little patience waiting for them to preserve.

Unlike fresh lemons (which you use the juice and rind) – Preserved Lemons are a different with a silken-softened texture and unique pickled taste.

The sharpness mellows, the lemon flavor intensifies and the salt and fermentation creates a punchy umami characteristic that lends incredible depth to dishes.
And – the bacteria developed during the fermentation process are extremely good for your digestive system!

The prized part of these preserved lemon are their rinds.
To use, the lemons are rinsed under cool water to remove some salt.
The rind can be minced, chopped or julienned. But – the flesh is totally usable, and so is the preserved lemon juice!
It’s just as wonderful as the lemons themselves – splash some over roasted veggies, chicken or fish and add the liquid where you need some brightening, in salad dressing and sauces.

Preserved Lemons have been pickled in salt and their own juices. They typically need to cure for about a month before they are ready to use…

My “Speedy-recipe” moves things along a little quicker – in 2 weeks I start to use them, but they become even more aromatic in the weeks to come and so lovely in a month.

With my method the lemons are placed in boiling water for a few minutes, then cut when cooled and added to a jar with salt and lemon juice to cover.
Traditionally, the lemons are not pre-cooked, and will take longer for the salt to ferment them.

Meyer lemons will “preserve” quicker because they have very thin walls of rind.
Yes – you can use fresh lemons in this recipe as well, scrub the skins of and wax on the exterior and proceed.

meyer lemons in vintage metal basket
Meyer lemons – the season is now… November through March
Meyer lemon cut in a bowl for making preserved lemons
6 lemons are cut into eighths, and placed in a bowl
Kosher coarse salt is rubbed into the lemon wedges
5 tablespoons of kosher coarse salt are rubbed into the lemon wedges

Fresh lemons will take a month before they are ready to use (their skins are much thicker than the Meyer variety.) Eureka lemons are the most available variety in the US.
Meyer lemons are typically available in cooler weather – from November to March. I get bags of them at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
Meyer lemons are less acidic and sweeter in taste – smaller than Eureka lemons with a hue that is sometimes a bit golden-orange.

Preserving lemons originated in North Africa and the Mediterranean, as lemon trees spread from Morocco to India so did the need to preserve them – introducing preserved lemons into a wide variety of Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines.

Uses for Preserved Lemons – what to do with them!

  • In recipes where you desire a bright lemony-fresh zip
  • Enhances Soups and Stews
  • A flavor element for Salsa
  • As an ingredient in Marinades
  • Adds a new zip to Pestos
  • A new flavor enhancer for Pasta
  • Pairs perfectly with Grains & Rice
  • Traditionally used in Moroccan Tagines
  • Adds a lemony note to Salads and Salad DressingsSee all my Zesty Citrus Recipes

Enjoy this ZESTY recipe!


To say hello, discuss a recipe, share one, or have a comment - I would love to know what you think!

    • HR
    • 22 Jan 2021

    So funny you posted this recipe. My lemons curing in the fridge right now. I collect blue vintage mason jars with zinc lids and that is what I used. I don’t boil the lemons first…. just wash them to get rid of any pesticides/wax coating.

    1. Reply

      Your lemons must look pretty in the blue vintage Ball jar!
      Meyer lemons are rarely waxed – I use them because I like their color and less acidic sweet floral flavor.
      I cooked the lemons for a few minutes to speed up the process…
      I will blog shortly recipes using them: first up a preserved lemon vinaigrette – I put ingredients in the blender and produced
      a wonderful bright yellow color.
      Take care!

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