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Cheat’s Preserved Lemons (or Limes, or Oranges …)

These preserved lemons are delicious and take hardly any time to make

And here is the one recipe I absolutely could not do without. It is an instant version of preserved lemons I discovered in Anna Hansen’s The Modern Pantry cookbook and it’s a brilliant way of getting that potent, salty burst of citrus into dishes when you haven’t homemade preserved lemons to hand or you don’t want to shell out for the generally substandard and ridiculously expensive bought variety. And actually, I find this version brighter and more versatile — the juice is salty, but not overly so, and has an intense, citrusy flavour which makes it ideal in dressings or just drizzled over some fish or chicken to brighten it up. I have made this with Seville oranges, blood oranges, mandarins (tricky because of the thin mandarin skin but do-able; just accept that you need to scrape pith from the inside, rather than pare zest from the outside), limes and grapefruit. All wonderful. Citrus preserved this way will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator, but will gradually lose its vibrancy of color. To preserve it for longer, you can freeze it. — Catherine Phipps, author of Citrus


If you love preserved lemon, try this recipe for Basil & Preserved Lemon Pesto.



  • 4 lemons (or any other type of citrus)
  • 1 Teaspoon sea salt


Pare the zest from the lemons in large slices, preferably with a swivel peeler, then trim off any excess white pith.

Put in a small saucepan, squeeze the pared lemons, and add the juice to the pan along with the sea salt.

Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for around 10 minutes or until the zest is tender.

Allow to cool and keep in a sterilized jar in the refrigerator until needed. It will keep for months, but can be used immediately.



Adapted from Citrus by Catherine Phipps (Quadrille, 2017, RRP $29.99 hardcover)


Nutritional Facts
Calories Per Serving17
Total Fat0.2g0.3%
Vitamin A0.6µg0.1%
Vitamin C31mg51%
Folate (food)6µgN/A
Folate equivalent (total)6µg2%