Lemons preserved in salt Lemons preserved in salt Israeli Kitchen Photo: Miriam Kresh

How to preserve lemons in salt

They add a dash of color and a zing of taste to many meals.

  • Total time: 3 weeks, 3 days
  • Yield: 4 quartered lemons
  • Prep time: 20 minutes

I discovered all kinds of uses for lemons when I moved to my present apartment. Come winter, the lemon tree in the common yard is loaded with bright yellow, juicy fruit. Having gotten tired of concocting sweet things from the lemons, I discovered a surprising way to use them in savory dishes: preserved in salt. Now I like to lay a slice of pickled lemon on top of a stew about 20 minutes before it’s done cooking; serve quarters of them in a little bowl to accompany lamb chops; chop slivers of them to mix into salad; stir-fry some and scatter them over fish.


  • 4 whole lemons
  • 4 tablespoons salt


Steep four whole lemons in cold water for 3 days. Change the water daily.

Cut the lemons into quarters (I prefer eighths) and pack them in a glass jar. Add 1 tablespoon of coarse salt to each lemon. Put two layers of baking parchment directly over them, and weigh them down with a 2-lb. weight or a clean smooth stone. In warm weather, keep the jar in the fridge.

At the end of the week, the lemons will have released their juice, forming a brine. Remove the paper and the weight, cover the jar, and keep in the fridge. Wait 2-3 weeks to use.

Lemons preserved this way will keep for one year.

Adapted from 'Spices, Salt, and Aromatics in the English Kitchen' by Elizabeth David.

Related Topics: Vegetarian

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