Preserving Lemons - Becca Piastrelli

Hey there,

creative gal!

You’ve landed on a post I wrote a few years ago -
back when I was known as The Dabblist and was exploring all sorts of ways I could create beautiful things with my hands. It was a powerful time for me — awakening my creativity after suppressing it for so long — but this space has since evolved to reflect the woman I’m becoming.

preserving lemons in a jar

I've only recently been introduced to preserving lemons for cooking, specifically for salad dressings and garnishing. But, really, I think the magic is in the beauty of the process.  The way the yellow of the lemons marry in the jar as the preservation process takes over.  This is a fun one!

sliced lemons for preserving


5-7 Lemons (Meyer, if you have it)
1c. Sea Salt (fine grain)
1 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Whole Peppercorns

sea salt for preserving lemons

Wash and dry a large jar. If you bought lemons in a store, be sure to scrub them really well to remove any wax. Cut your biggest lemon in half and remove the seeds. Slice off the ends of the other lemons, and cut them into quarters.

Place 1/4 cup of your salt at the bottom of the jar. Smash in four lemon quarters to squish out the juice a bit. Follow with a tablespoon of salt, making sure it touches the rind of each slice. Squeeze the juice of the large lemon over the salted lemons, and repeat with the remaining lemons and salt.

how to preserve lemons

When halfway through the jar, sprinkle your sugar in with the salt, and keep on layering. When you've reached the top of the jar, squish it all down and sprinkle in the peppercorns. Over the next few days, more juice should be extracted from the lemons to cover all the lemons (if not, add a bit more lemon juice).  Have the jar sit at room temperature for a few days, and then place it in the fridge. After about a month, your lemons are ready for cooking, though they will keep for up to 6 months. When ready to use the lemons, rinse off the salty brine and scoop out the flesh. You can use the peels for anything you desire: in salads, blending into dressings, or over fish.

preserved lemons with peppercorns

(adapted from Sprouted Kitchen)

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