what to do with preserved lemons, part 2


Hello from here. (Cold, cold, cold.) I’m going to try to finally wash my windows today, as the world has lost some of its usual sparkle.

I’m mired down in January already, just when I’d really decided, last month, that I unapologetically love winter. But last month there were bonfires and birthdays and cocktails and lights. I walked the puppy down to the river twice a day without fail, stomping over the snow and breathing in the cold air like it was addictive as tobacco. January came and the world froze and the news turned horrible and I was sick in bed for a whole week. Freida and I go out in 5-minute bursts until she starts to shake and I start to cough, and then we come back in and she presses her wet nose against the window again to watch for the dog next door who stands in the corner of the yard to taunt her. No wonder the windows are so dirty. I’m finding these little bits here and there, though. Sadie practicing Chariots of Fire on the trumpet. Joey putting kitchen mixes on my phone for me to find when I need them. I’m teaching my sister how to drive. Waking up in the cold morning with Freida under the covers, pressed against my feet.


Every January, I make preserved lemons again. The lemons are good and cheap right now, and once you’ve packed them, you have weeks of sunshine bubbling away on the counter. A few years ago I wrote about the method, and there are lots of good comments on that post, too. Just after, I rounded up the different ways I use them in the kitchen, and I thought it was high time to revisit that topic, as the list has grown.


One of my favorite new uses for preserved lemons is in chicken soup. I chop up a whole lemon (rind, flesh, and all) and stir it into the soup close to the end of cooking. Back in December, I did this with a chicken, barley, and watercress soup, and that was fantastic. I’ve been adding a lemon to every chicken soup since.

Also, I’ve take to chopping up a bit of rind and adding it to vinaigrette along with a spoonful of brine.

And then there are the roasted chickpeas.


The short story here is that when you toss a chickpea in spices and roast it, it turns into a snack. The longer story is that they’re a little odd, and certainly not for everyone. They dry out a bit, and their chickpea-ness is somehow enhanced. But those who like them (and I do) LOVE them, and they’re especially well-suited to mindless eating (strangely addicting, as my kids say).


I’ve been roasting chickpeas since Heidi told me to when her third book came out. (You know the one, right? Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods KitchenSince then, I’ve roasted them with so many different spices and flavors, but I think preserved lemon is my favorite addition.

Do you have lemons going on the counter? Or already ready in the fridge? Here’s a roundup of ways to use them:

How To Make Preserved Lemons
Preserved Lemon Caesar
Fettucini with Preserved Lemon and Roasted Garlic
Preserved Lemon Hummus
Preserved Lemon and Rosemary Focaccia
Preserved Lemon Martini



(In the interest of full disclosure, there’s an Amazon affiliate link in this post. Many thanks!)






  1. says

    Can you wash windows in the winter? I somehow thought the glass would be too cold….? I like to wash them in the fall, but I was in the first trimester of pregnancy and SO sick. But now I’m looking out dirty windows and I hate that.

    my kids LOVE roasted chickpeas in their lunchboxes! I keep them pretty plain, actually.

    I have been making pickled lemons with Julie Sahni’s method (Indian) for years now. I always have a jar on the counter to eat with anything resembling Indian food. I should try your preserved lemons, too.

  2. Naya says

    We’re lucky to have a good friend with a giant Meyer Lemon tree so we always have tons of jars of preserved lemons on hand. I love to chop them finely and add them to scrambled eggs with herbs. Adding them to sauteed kale or any other cooked greens brightens things up. A simple salad dressing of chopped lemons, herbs, mustard and olive oil seems to wow everyone as well. Can’t wait to try the chickpeas!

  3. says

    Preserved lemon hummus – wow! how did I not think of that :)
    I love them with lamb – most recently rubbed all over a lamb shoulder with garlic and greek oregano. Then cook the lamb for about 5 hours. The potatoes cooked in the juices absorbed the lemon flavour too – absolutely sublime…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>