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DIY: Moroccan Preserved Lemons


DIY: Moroccan Preserved Lemons

June 13, 2012

I am a firm believer in the idea that when life gives you lemons, you should preserve them.

Moroccan preserved lemons (known as l’hamd marakad) add an essential tartness to your culinary endeavors, tagines in particular. I was inspired after I picked up Moro East, London-based restaurateurs Sam and Sam Clark’s cooking companion (think pomegranate molasses, cauliflower and cumin soup). These lemons take about seven days to pickle, but all you need is the basics: fruit, salt, and a nice spice blend.

Here’s what you need (adapted from Epicurious):

  • 5 lemons of any variety (Meyer, Lisbon, Bonnie Brae)
  • 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Sterilized pint-sized mason jar
  • Optional: Safi spices (see below) or green peppercorns, bay leaves, and coriander seeds.

Photography by Alexa Hotz for Gardenista.

700 diy preserved lemons birds eye

Above: The ingredients: five Meyer lemons, a pinch of herbs, and a heaping pile of coarse salt. To find out how to grow your own indoor lemon tree, see “DIY: Potted Indoor Citrus Trees.”

700 diy preserved lemons spices

Above: The traditional Safi mixture for Moroccan preserved lemons includes cinnamon, clove, coriander, black peppercorns, and bay leaves (see Epicurious for exact measurements).

700 diy preserved lemons in a bowl

Above: Quarter the lemons, leaving a half inch at the bottom uncut, then sprinkle coarse salt inside the fruit.

700 diy preserved lemons and spices

Above: In addition to the dry ingredients, prepare 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice to add to the jar.

700 diy preserved lemons jar

Above: Add the lemons to a sterilized jar, add coarse salt and lemon juice, and stack the lemons to the top. Reseal the jar by submerging in boiling water or by the oven (for more information on canning and sterilization, see Canning Food Recipes).

700 moro east cookbook product shot

Above: Moro East by Sam and Sam Clark (of UK restaurant Moro) is $31.72 from Amazon.

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Product summary  

700 moro east cookbook product shot
Samuel Clark & Samantha Clark

Moro East

$31.72 USD from Amazon

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