Moroccan Preserved Lemon

May 2, 2011

We will be shortly leaping into summer. The last of the winter fruit has fallen and we can make good use of it by preserving them. Preserves have become a hot topic in the last couple of years and for good reason. Preserving foods can make any season last longer and allow us to consume food in a healthy sustainable way. No I am not going to give you the 100th recipe for strawberry jam or orange marmalade. Rather, I think this preserved fruit has remained in the shadows for too long- Preserved lemon. In your ordinary market, it is highly doubtful you find this product. I have only seen it at specialty shops at outrageous prices. Preserved lemon is mostly used in North African cuisine, especially in Moroccan cooking. The lemons are usually cut into quarters and mixed with lemon juice, water, and salt. Over time, as one would expect, the lemon peels develops a more intense version of its own flavor. Grapefruits and limes are preserved in much the same way. Try making a batch and include the fruits of your labor (excuse the pun) in a Moroccan tagine.

Preserved Lemon Recipe

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Preserved Lemon


3 pounds boneless lamb stew meat, from the shoulder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch saffron threads
1 orange, zested and juiced
1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup water
1 cup pitted green Moroccan (or other) olives, chopped

Photo By: jonstraveladventures