Preserved Lemons

I had a reading failure, embarrassing. I opened the jar of Meyer lemons I was preserving a la Bittman but it's too early. They need to go back in the fridge for another few weeks apparently since its only been 11 days. Did I ruin the process? Anything I can do to ensure it continues on its merry way?

Jason Twomey


bigpan June 22, 2012
If the lemons have been exposed too much they will turn to a dark color. Toss them out. Normally the salt is also the preservative so being exposed but still covered with salt is okay.
Besides tagines, use in any recipe where you want to add the unique flavor - even pizza !
Elaine R. June 22, 2012
How do you use "preserved lemons? I have seen them but don't know how they are used.
Jason T. June 22, 2012
I have read about them in several books and online about North African/Moroccan dishes. You blanch the peel and add to tagines, stews, etc. lots of uses.
em-i-lis June 22, 2012
They are great in so many things!! Tagines often incorporate them, but as bigpan says, they're great in any number of ways. I adore this salad which uses preserved lemons in the dressing:
as well as this recipe which uses freekah (aka frik) which was recently offered in the food52 shop:
Lots of great uses and as they last for so long in the fridge, it's worthwhile to make one or some and just keep them on hand for when the need arises!
fiveandspice June 22, 2012
I'd cover the top ones and keep them still. They're probably still totally fine. If they were bad in any way, you'd see mold on them.
bigpan June 22, 2012
As long as the lemons are covered with liquid, all is ok. I make a large jar (2 dozen lemons) and transfer two or three to a smaller hat as needed.
No problem keeping them for a year - if you don't use them all.
Jason T. June 22, 2012
Out of curiosity, what of 1-2 lemons in top haven't been covered 100% of the time? Cover with juice still or too late?
em-i-lis June 22, 2012
And, Jason, if you ever need a quick preserved lemon but don't want to open a jar or don't need much, this recipe is great:
I use it regularly!

Voted the Best Reply!

fiveandspice June 22, 2012
If they have all that salt and sugar in them, they should still be perfectly fine! Even when opened they should last at least a year in your fridge. You won't have disturbed the process at all, it's just that they aren't quite ready to eat yet flavor-wise.
Jason T. June 22, 2012
Thanks! First time preserving/jarring anything so I want it to go well. I know oxygen is the enemy so I got nervous when I let it in the front door. I'll top off with some lemon juice to be safe and let it go for another week or two.
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