When Life Gives you Lemons

...preserve those suckers!

After waiting weeks and weeks, we decided to debut the lemons yesterday. 

The preserved lemons after their 7 week stint in my cupboard

They looked fantastic. No mould, nothing nasty at all. Their texture had gone slightly gelatinous, but otherwise kept their shape and colour. When I took a small bite, salty lemony goodness flooded my tastebuds. I'm not sure I would want to have a few slices with feta as one person suggested, but as Lawrence pointed out, you don't eat lime pickle straight from the jar either.

So, what to do with them?

In true Ottolenghi style, we went Moroccan.

The lamb, fresh from the local butcher

Lawrence likes recipes, I like winging it, and as I was cooking, we flew. He diced the lamb whilst I chopped a red onion, a red pepper and assembled the spices: paprika, turmeric, coriander, ground ginger, cumin and a splash of chilli oil. I fried these off in some olive oil. We (by which I mean Lawrence) threw in two cartons of chopped tomatoes, a tin of kidney beans and a tin of chick peas, as well as a few diced potatoes and a few cloves of garlic. He also cut up a large handful of apricots. And of course 2/3 of a preserved lemon!

The star of the show!

We stirred and let it all bubble for over an hour.

Hurry up! Hungry!

It was awful waiting for it to cook. I dribbled with anticipation. We dished it out and served it with the rest of the loaf Lawrence had brought over in the morning. It was delish! The preserved lemons lightened the stew and the smell was absolutely amazing. The lamb was so tender, it melted. Om nom nom.

One thing is for certain. I'm a better cook than I am a food photographer! :-) 

My sinuses might have ruined our plans for the weekend, but I refuse to let them get in the way of further experimentation. I will be roasting a chicken later and making couscous to take into work as a pack up. Yes, they will be very lemony indeed.


  1. Congratulations! I love preserved lemons, but have never been brave enough to try making my own; I just make do with Waitrose's...and then end up throwing half out after they get manky as the jar's too big. You might have inspired me to make my own.

    1. Hello Muffin Dog Press!

      I ended up doing them myself, because I just could not find them anywhere in the shops. Had I known Waitrose had them, I'd have bought them there. Bum.

      One of the things with going out with a food scientist, Lawrence is a stickler for details. He insisted when I fished the lemon out, that the fork was scrupulously clean. My foodie friend La Diva makes a batch once a year, so they shouldn't go manky if you keep it clean.

      The toughest thing about the whole process is the sterilisation of the jar and rubber seal.

  2. Sounds gorgeous.

    If in doubt, I guess one could put the remainder in a smaller jar (though you'd have to sterilise it of course) or simply freeze them in individual bags?

    1. They are very yummy indeed. I'd highly recommend them.

      I wouldn't transfer them into a smaller jar, simply because the salted, lemon juice all covered in that layer of olive oil will keep them covered.

      I'll ask Lawrence to see if freezing might be an option.

  3. Wow! Looks and sounds delicious!

    Maybe throw some extra red pepper on your serving and clear out those sinuses! Being from The Islands, I'm sure you could handle it!

    PS: I've ended every sentence with an exclamation point! I don't mean to be shouty! Sorry!

    1. They are delish.

      There are two dried chillies floating around in there and I couldn't taste them at all! Damned sinuses!

      PS. I don't mind, you be as shouty as you like!


  4. mmmmmmmmmmm, lamb and lemons....yes, please, miss! xoxoxoxo

    1. Come on over, there are leftovers!

      Transferring the stew into a pyrex dish, the lemon scent really came through.

      Now it's sat over night, I think the stew will be even more tasty.

  5. Oh, yummeh!! I think I may have to try this once the weather here becomes cooler.


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