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Preserved Lemons

Erez Komarovsky

Lesson time 5 min

Preserved lemons are an important part of Erez’s kitchen. The salty, briny, citrus flavor brings a beautiful pop of color and flavor, and brightens up any dish.

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Preview

Okay, so we’re going to do preserved lemons. And this is one of the key spices that we use in Israeli cuisine. And let me show you how you do it. It’s very easy. First, you take a knife. Then you take the lemons. And what we do is we just cut very deep cuts in the lemons. Okay, you cut it without cutting through to the end. In the winter time, you have the loquat, which are the small lemons that are a little sweeter and they will give you better flavor. Meyer lemons are the best. You have it in the States, Meyer lemons, because they are sweet and not bitter, okay? So you see, I don’t cut it through all the way through. Okay. I’m going to prepare a jar. And I prepare it once a year in the winter time, when you have the best lemons, very ripe and the skin is not too thick. And now we are going to take some gray salt. And then you put some salt inside. (salt rattling) I just close it a little bit with the salt in it. Preserved lemons come from North Africa. And we adopted it in Israel. And nowadays, in every restaurant, in every menu, we have preserved lemons. And even if we don’t mention it, we use it. Okay, it’s lovely with calamari. It’s unbelievable with fish, with chicken and you add it to a vinaigrette for salads, it adds a lot of flavor and it’s a different kind of sourness. Okay, now I’m going to take some lemons and juice them. I’m going to add some lemon juice so it will melt the salt and create a brine and the juice will cover the lemon so they don’t oxidize, and it will be perfect preserved lemons. (juice squirting) Now you take the jar in which we are going to put all those beautiful lemons. (jar clinking) You pack them in. And now you put the lemon juice. And now I’m adding a little more salt. Very nice indeed. The lemons are completely covered in the juice, okay, in the lemon juice and you leave them on the countertop for 24 hours. At the end of the 24 hours, you just mix it together. You leave it for another 24 hours, and then you just put olive oil on top and you’ll leave it for another week, you have preserved lemons, perfect preserved lemons. So these are the preserved lemons we use. You see the olive oil on top, okay. And this is the salt and the lemon juice.

About the Instructor

Renowned chef, baker, and cookbook author celebrated as the “Godfather” of modern Israeli cuisine, Erez Komarovsky takes viewers on a journey to discover the roots of his Middle Eastern cuisine. Starting from the bustling markets of Tel Aviv, Israel to his blissful home in the North Galilee, Erez teaches viewers how to bake his “flowering” Challah and Pita breads, plus his signature dishes including Lamb Kebabs, Hummus Mezze with Falafel, Harissa Chicken, Fish Crudo and more.