Preserved Lemons


  • 6 unwaxed organic lemons (preferably Meyer)
  • 6 tbsp Diamon Kosher Salt
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs or large dried bay leaves (optional)
  • 1 whole cayenne pepper or 12 black peppercorns (optional)
  • Juice of 3 extra lemons (if needed)

recipe video


  1. Find a wide-mouth glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, large enough to fit all the lemons snuggly inside. Cover the bottom of the jar with salt and set aside.
  2. Wash the lemons under cold running water, thoroughly scrubbing each one. Pat drive and set on a flat surface. Carefully cut out a thin slice from the top, and then make 4 incisions, from the top to about halfway to the bottom, as if you were going to cut each lemon into quarters, but leaving them attached at one end.
  3. Place 1 tbsp kosher salt inside each one of the lemons, reshape the fruit, and place inside the jar, on top of the salt surface. Repeat the process with all the lemons, sprinkling some additional salt on top of each. Fit them all inside the jar, squeezing them together, and breaking them apart if necessary.
  4. Press the lemons down to release their juices, and add any additional lemon juice if necessary. All the lemons have to be completely covered by lemon juice (a small glass weight can be placed on top of the lemons to ensure they are all submerged under the lemon juice).
  5. Close the jar and leave at room temperature, shaking it every day for 1 week. After 1 week, add the herbs and/or pepper/peppercorns to the jar, close and shake slightly. Continue with the preserving process, shaking daily, until all the lemon rinds are tender to the bite (usually about 3-4 weeks). Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  6. To use, remove a piece of (or a whole) lemon, slice into thin slices or mince them. Used them as a topping for soups, salads or grilled meat, or blend them into salad dressings, fish and poultry dishes, or into anything that needs an amazing flavor boost. You may even use the brine to make martinis!
  7. Top the jar with extra lemon juice as required to keep ensuring the lemons remain completely submerged.

What are the benefits of this dish?

🍋 Lemons contain polyphenols (flavonoids), nutrients that we get from plant foods, and that are packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits. You may identify these powerful nutrients as they often contribute to the bitterness, astringency, color, flavor and smell of plant foods. [1]

If you are looking for the biggest flavor bomb, that very comforting burst in flavor that very few condiments can give, preserved lemons is the answer.

🍋 Eriocitrin, the main lemon polyphenol, is most abundant in the peel – a MUST EAT as far as preserved lemons in concerned. The peel of citrus fruits has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antilipidemic, and antibacterial activities [2]. 👌

In the intestine, flavonoids such as eriocitrin may affect the composition of the gut microbiota, by promoting beneficial bacteria and inhibiting potentially pathogenic species [3, 4, 5]. Food flavonoids may also be transformed by the microbiota into products with more/different health benefits.

🍋 Lemons also contain ample amounts of vitamin C, other phytonutrients, and prebiotic fiber and all contributing to a number of different benefits for supporting gut health [6, 7, 8]. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help lower gut inflammation and boost the immune system, which as you know, 75% of it resides in your gut! [9]

🍋 The liver is the largest internal organ in the human body, and it plays a major role in detoxification and excretion of many toxins.  Lemon peel stimulates liver detoxification, thus supporting the body’s ability to free itself of toxins.

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