Quick ‘Preserved’ Lemons

You will no doubt remember my story about the new ingredients I tried out last week (as I just wrote about and posted it 15 minutes ago) and my statement that I would be telling you about those preserved lemons soon.

Soon is now.

What happened was that I wanted to make the Lemon-Pistachio Israeli Couscous but thought the lemon in the title was just lemons and not preserved lemons so when I started to assemble all the ingredients and read the recipe more carefully I found out I was missing a pretty important ingredient which made me think maybe the name of the recipe should have been Preserved Lemon-Pistachio Israeli Couscous but who am I to argue with David Lebovitz and what good would it do me anyhow because it was my own damned fault for not being more alert.

But! I remembered reading a recipe for quick ‘preserved’ lemons online so I searched and found it. Phew. I was able to put the couscous on hold for a few hours while the lemons got ‘preserved’.

Here’s how that went.

Got the lemons and removed the stickers.

Lovely lemons.

Sliced ’em.

Sliced lemons.

Diced ’em.

Diced lemons.

Added the salt.

Add the salt.

Added the sugar too.

Add the sugar (a whatfoodimade action shot™!).

Tossed all that together.

The ‘preservatives’.

Loaded the lemons, salt and sugar into a jar and agitated it all afternoon.

Loaded into a jar.

Four hours later:

Quick ‘Preserved’ Lemons.

Four hours later.

These were just fine for use in the Lemon-Pistachio Israeli Couscous. The lemons I didn’t use are continuing to be preserved in my refrigerator now. Will they be useful or will I get tired of moving them around and throw them out?

We will see. I am currently accepting suggestions for other food to make with these.

The recipe is here:

Quick ‘Preserved’ Lemons

Yield About 2 cups
Time 3 hours


4 lemons, unwaxed (or scrubbed of wax)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar


Dice lemons, including peel, removing as many seeds as possible. Put the lemons and their juice in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and sugar; toss well and transfer to a jar. Let the mixture sit for at least 3 hours at room temperature, shaking the jar periodically. It can be served at that point or refrigerated for up to a week.



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