REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Preserved Lemons

How to Make Preserved Lemons | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #ferments #lactoferments #probiotics

This post is part of a series.  To buy Volume One of the e-book containing several REAL FOOD 101 tutorials, click here: REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared.

Preserved lemons are bright, complex, soft, and a perfect addition to a savory meal.  Plus, if you’re like me and you just need to eat the peels of anything citrusy, then these lemons are the end all be all of probiotic sides.

There are many ways to make lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables.  The combinations are virtually limitless.  Adding garlic or spices or herbs can deepen the flavor profile, add color and interest, and help you find culinary expression in your own kitchen.

All you need for a lacto-ferment is salt, or salt and whey.  From there you can use your creativity to guide you.  You’ll notice below that I have two versions for preserved lemons.  One uses salt only, and one uses salt-and-whey.  Both are delicious, fermented, and full of probiotic goodness.

The first recipe is based on the preserved lemons found in Nourishing Traditions, using both whey and salt.  However, I have modified it to use less salt, since there is sufficient whey involved.  I love the addition of cinnamon sticks in this version, which lends it’s flavor more to a nice chutney

The second recipe is based on Nourished Kitchen’s Moroccan Preserved Lemons recipe, which is not only simple and beautiful, but is just the kind of recipe that she covers in her comprehensive fermentation course Get Cultured! which I highly recommend for anyone interested in knowing how to ferment anything!

Equipment Needed:

Note: Use organic lemons to make sure that there are no pesticides or additives in your fermenting jar.  Use filtered water for the same reasons (who wants flouride in their preserved lemons?)

Preserved Lemons
makes one quart

5 lemons, washed, ends cut off and discarded, then sliced thinly into rounds
1 tablespoon sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)
3 cinnamon sticks (organic spices here)
2 tablespoons whey (how to make whey)
juice of 2 lemons

  1. Toss the lemon rounds in a large bowl with sea salt and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Spoon into the glass jar and pour whey and lemon juice over the lemons.  Press the lemons down until the liquid covers them. Fill with additional salted water if needed, until the liquid level comes up to one inch below the top of the jar.
  3. Cover tightly and let sit at room temperature for 2 weeks.  Turn the jar one quarter of a turn every day.
  4. Taste the lemons at the end of the fermentation time to see if the flavor is where you want it.  Transfer to cold storage to stop the fermentation process.

Moroccan Preserved Lemons
makes one quart

5 lemons, washed, ends cut off and discarded, cut into quarters
2-3 tablespoons sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)

  1. Sprinkle salt over each lemon quarter as you place it in the jar, as well as sprinkling more salt over each one after you place it in the jar.  Every 4-5 quarters, smash the lemons with the muddler until the skins soften and the lemon release their juice.
  2. Keep salting, layering, and smashing until the jar is full to about one inch below the top.  Press the lemons down so they are submerged beneath the liquid level.  If you need to add a little salted water to the jar to make sure the lemons are underneath the liquid line, you may.
  3. Cover tightly and let sit at room temperature for 2 weeks.  Turn the jar one quarter of a turn every day.
  4. Taste the lemons at the end of the fermentation time to see if the flavor is where you want it.  Transfer to cold storage to stop the fermentation process.

This post is a part of Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Fill Those Jars Friday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Monday Mania, Weekend Gourmet, Real Food Wednesday, The Mommy Club, Allergy Free Wednesday.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

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Comments

  1. Actually, you do not need whey for lactofermentation. “Lacto” in that instance refers to lactobacillus not “lacto” as in dairy. We LOVE our fermented lemons!

  2. Actually, you do not need whey for lactofermentation. “Lacto” in that instance refers to lactobacillus not “lacto” as in dairy. We LOVE our fermented lemons!

  3. I don’t quite understand what you mean when you wrote to turn the jars 1/4 turn each day. Can you help, please? Thanks!

  4. I don’t quite understand what you mean when you wrote to turn the jars 1/4 turn each day. Can you help, please? Thanks!

  5. These look yummy. Time to get me some lemons. 🙂

  6. These look yummy. Time to get me some lemons. 🙂

  7. Those look really good! I’m going to have to give them a try. How do you like to use them?

    I recently launched a new real food blog carnival called Fill Those Jars Friday. I’d love to have you come stop by and share this on it: http://toomanyjarsinmykitchen.com/2012/08/16/fill-those-jars-friday-august-17-2012/

    See you there!
    Mindy

  8. Those look really good! I’m going to have to give them a try. How do you like to use them?

    I recently launched a new real food blog carnival called Fill Those Jars Friday. I’d love to have you come stop by and share this on it: http://toomanyjarsinmykitchen.com/2012/08/16/fill-those-jars-friday-august-17-2012/

    See you there!
    Mindy

  9. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  10. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

Trackbacks

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  5. […] months to come.   Note: If you don’t use (or have) whey, you can find a salt-only recipe here. Nourishing Traditions uses preserved lemons in a lot of their recipes.  And though this is my […]

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