Paula Wolfert's recipe for preserved lemons...

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Assistant Cook
Nov 12, 2002
Does anyone have the recipe for preserved lemons in Paula Wolferts cookbook on mediterraniean cooking..sorry about spelling?
Hi desdwellers,

Welcome to DiscussCooking! I hope this is what you are looking for. Come back and visit with us. Let me know if this is not what you want. Glad you stopped by.

Please note that there is another recipe of hers that follows this one. It is for the 7-Day Preserved Lemons.

5 Lemons
1/4 c Salt; more if desired
1 Cinnamon stick
3 Cloves
5-6 coriander seeds
3-4 black peppercorns
1 Bay leaf
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
-- if necessary

The author writes: "Preserved lemons, sold loose in the souks, are
one of the indispensable ingredients of Moroccan cooking, used in
fragrant lamb and vegetables tagines, recipes for chicken with lemons
and olives, and salads. Their unique pickled taste and special
silken texture cannot be duplicated with fresh lemon or lime juice,
despite what some food writers have said. In Morocco they are made
with a mixture of fragrant-skinned doqq and tart boussera lemons, but
I have had excellent luck with American lemons from Florida and

"Moroccan Jews have a slightly different procedure for pickling, which
involves the use of olive oil, but this recipe, which includes
optional herbs (in the manner of Safi), will produce a true Moroccan
preserved-lemon taste.

"The important thing in preserving lemons is to be certain they are
completely covered with salted lemon juice. With my recipe you can
use the lemon juice over and over again. (As a matter of fact, I
keep a jar of used pickling juice in the kitchen, and when I make
Bloody Marys or salad dressings and have a half lemon left over, I
toss it into the jar and let it marinate with the rest.) Use wooden
utensils to remove lemons as needed."

"Sometimes you will see a sort of lacy, white substance clinging to
preserved lemons in their jar; it is perfectly harmless, but should be
rinsed off for aesthetic reasons just before the lemons are used.
Preserved lemons are rinsed, in any case, to rid them of their salty
taste. Cook with both pulps and rinds, if desired."

To make preserved lemons: If you wish to soften the peel, soak the
lemons in lukewarm water for 3 days, changing the water daily.

Quarter the lemons from the top to within 1/2" of the bottom, sprinkle
salt on the exposed flesh, and then reshape the fruit.

Place 1 tb. salt on the bottom of a sterilized one-pint mason jar.
Pack in the lemons and push them down, adding more salt, and the
optional spices, between layers. Press the lemons down to release
their juices and to make room for the remaining lemons. (If the
juice released from the squashed fruit does not cover them, add
freshly squeezed lemon juice - not chemically produced lemon juice
and not water.*) Leave some air space before sealing the jar.

Let the lemons ripen in a warm place, shaking the jar each day to
distribute the salt and juice. Let ripen for 30 days.

To use, rinse the lemons, as needed, under running water, removing and
discarding the pulp, if desired - and there is no need to refrigerate
after opening. Preserved lemons will keep up to a year, and the
pickling juice can be used two or three times over the course of a

*According to the late Michael Field, the way to extract the maximum
amount of juice from a lemon is to boil it in water for 2 or 3
minutes and allow it to cool before squeezing.

Cathy's note: I thought that the Safi spice combination sounded so
good that I included it all as part of Wolfert's recipe although,
when she wrote it, she only called for the lemons and salt as the
main ingredients and made the rest of the ingredients optional.

From _Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco_ by Paula Wolfert.
New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1987. Pp. 30-32. ISBN


Paula Wolfert's Seven-Day Preserved Lemons
4 large (about 6 ounces each) lemons (preferably thin-skinned),
2/3 cup koshering salt
1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 5 large lemons)
olive oil

Dry lemons well and cut each into 8 wedges. In a bowl
toss wedges with salt and transfer to a glass jar (about 6-cup capacity).
Add lemon juice and cover jar with a tight-fitting glass lid or
plastic-coated lid. Let lemons stand at room temperature 7 days, shaking
jar each day to redistribute salt and juice. Add oil to cover lemons and
store, covered and chilled, up to 6 months. Makes 4 preserved lemons.
WOW! so happy I got a reply !

Thank you so much for sending me the recipe I was looking for! I was wondering if maybe I just wasn't getting this chat format or something. I figured I would get an email but wasn't sure. I am use to real time chat. Please forgive me, my ignorance...LOL!
But anyway .. thank you sincerely for the reply and recipe..... helper...I will visit again soon.

1 of 3 desdwellers
LOL desdwellers. No need to apologize since actually, I didn't know what you were thinking! LOL But at any rate, definately no need to apologize for anything.

I monitor the boards throughout the day. I may miss a day here and there due to personal stuff but usually Norma or someone else may be around too.

After you post a message on any board here you can click on "Track This Topic" and you will get e-mails whenever someone responds. Come back and visit and let me know which recipe you use and how they turned out. Also, what recipes would you use them for?

Glad I could find the recipe.
Need some help with this preserved lemon thing

I had just one lemon from my small, 2-year old tree last year, but it was huge. I filled a smaller jar with it, and the juice completely filled the jar. I made it exactly as instructed, with all the salt. bought 3 lbs of kosher salt, in fact. I did the turning and shaking, religiously.

Well, at the end of about a month, it started to look pretty grungy. I'm afraid to use it.

I found this recipe here just now, and I see where it did say that:

"Sometimes you will see a sort of lacy, white substance clinging to
preserved lemons in their jar; it is perfectly harmless, but should be
rinsed off for aesthetic reasons just before the lemons are used."

All I see are pictures on the web of these lovely yellow lemons, possibly because they are newly processed. Should they be OK months later if they are looking grungy? I know I am saying "grungy", but I don't know how to describe more accurately.

This year, the tree has 14 lemons, and I wanted to try again, in a few months after they are ready, but I am afraid to waste them. I can't buy Meyer lemons here, and I will only get one shot each year of having any. And with my luck the tree will die this winter. It's been a struggle.

Anybody have any ideas for me? Thanks in advance.
Hi Deb. I have a Meyer lemon tree in my yard and since I live in a valley that's called the "Citrus Capital of the World" it always produces an abundance of lemons. Since I'm not into cooking with preserved lemons I've never done that. I've recently learned from here that they can be frozen whole so you may want to try that too.
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