In this post, I’ll show you how to preserve lemon peel. There are a few ways to do this, but in this post, we are going to use oil and salt for this preserved lemon rind. It’s delicious! I love eating it with any chicken or fish dish or adding it to any sandwich. It lasts forever and is very simple to make. You can find the printable preserved lemon peel recipe at the end of this post.
Why the heck would you bother preserving lemon peels? Well, because they are so delicious!
Besides, the chickens won’t eat them and they take forever to compost, so in my belly they go.
Preserved lemon peel is a Middle Eastern/Moroccan kinda dish. In Israel, we don’t use salad dressing as much as we use it here in the U.S. Most of the time when we make salads we dress them with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.
It’s so simple, so tasty, and so much healthier than all those dressings that have a ton of mayo in them.
How to Preserve Lemon Peel
And we eat a salad with almost every meal in Israel! So what is one going to do with so many lemon peels at the end of the week?
Preserve them, of course.
Preserved lemon rind will last pretty much forever (even if you keep the jar at room temperature but you can also keep it in the fridge) and you can use them in many ways. You can add them to a sandwich, for example, a turkey sandwich or a cheese sandwich. You can add them to any fish or chicken or turkey dish…
You can cook them with celery or fennel or carrots or kale. You can put them in the food processor and turn them into a lemon paste which you can spread on bread, or chicken or fish. Really, the possibilities are endless.
Let me show you how my mother preserves lemon peel (there is another way that I will talk about at the end of this post. Also, sometimes we preserve whole lemons as well but in this post, we will concentrate on just the peels.)…
First, acquire a few lemons. Let’s say, you used the juice for cooking or salad or whatever, instead of throwing away the peel, place it in a zip-lock bag or a container in the fridge.
Just a side note here, you can keep the lemon seeds and use them in jams since they have natural pectin in them and will thicken your jam naturally (I show how to do this in my Peach Jam post so make sure to check it out).
Back to preserving these lemon peels… Once you have a few lemons, cut them into small pieces. We used about 6 lemons here, I think, and we cut each lemon into 8 pieces. You can go smaller or larger with your pieces, there are no rules.
Place your lemon peels in a pot and fill it with water.
Place your pot on the stove top and bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat but keep your water boiling gently. We want the peels to soften, this might take 30 minutes or maybe 45, depending on how thick your lemon peels are. Keep checking the softness with a fork just as you do with potatoes.
Once the lemons are soft, transfer them to a strainer or a colander and let them dry and cool a bit.
Once the peels are dry and cool, put them back in the pot or in a mixing bowl and add 6 tablespoons of oil…
And 4 tablespoons of salt (preferably sea salt)…
Mix the oil, salt, and rind together…
Then all you have to do now is transfer the lemons into a jar and keep it in the fridge. They are ready to eat.
The reason we boil the lemons is that we want them to be ready to eat right away. The reason we keep them in the fridge is that we want to use a smaller amount of oil. If you want to keep your jar at room temperature you would just have to add some more oil and make sure the lemons are covered.
If you don’t want to boil the lemons you can cut your lemons, put some salt in a jar, then a layer of lemons, then a layer of salt, then a layer of lemons and so on until the jar is full. Once the jar is filled with lemons and layers of salt, add oil all the way to the top. If you do it this way you can leave the jar in the pantry but it will take the lemons a couple of months until they soften.
Another note to make is that you can add different seasoning to the lemons. You can add whole cloves of garlic, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper if you like it spicy, maybe some thyme… Be creative.
Also, if you like, you can make this with whole lemons instead of just the peel, just make sure to cut them to smaller pieces.
OK, I think I gave you enough options! Now go get busy.
If you liked this recipe, here are a few more preserving recipes you might like…
- Peel from 6-8 lemons
- 6 tablespoons oil (vegetables or canola will do, you can also try olive oil)
- 4 tablespoons salt (preferably sea salt)
1. Cut the lemon peels (each lemon to at least 8 pieces).
2. Place the peels in a pot, fill it with water. Place the pot on the stove top and bring to a boil.
3. Lower the heat so the water is boiling gently.
4. Boil until the lemons are soft (probably 30 -45 minutes).
5. Place lemons in a colander and let them cool down and dry.
6. Transfer the lemons back to the pot or to a mixing bowl and add the oil and salt. Mix to coat the lemons.
7. Transfer the lemons into a jar and keep in the fridge.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 quart jar Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 942Total Fat: 86gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 76gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 25420mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 19gSugar: 17gProtein: 7g