The City Magazine Since 1975

Quick Preserved Lemons

(makes 11/4 cups)
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12 Meyer lemons
2 qts. water
1 cup kosher salt
16 oz. canola oil


Trim the bottoms off of the lemons. Make four cuts into each in the shape of an X, cutting three-fourths of the way down the lemon toward the stem end but not detaching from it.

Place them in a nonreactive pot. Add water, which must cover the lemons. Add salt and stir to dissolve. Place a lid from a smaller pot on top of the lemons to keep them fully submerged. Bring them to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to boil the lemons until the skins are soft, about 25 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Once lemons are cool, scrape out all of the flesh and white pith from inside. Only the yellow peel should remain. Pack the peel in a Mason jar, fill the jar with oil, cover tightly, and refrigerate. The lemons will keep for several months. To use, remove the desired amount with a clean fork, not your fingers. Wipe off the oil, which can become bitter if there is pith left on lemons.