By Mark Breen of Seasonal Kitchen

A jar of preserved lemons will brighten up your kitchen and put an end to popping to the shops for a single lemon. Traditionally used in Moroccan cooking, these lemons taste great in tagines or with chicken and fish.

Ingredients (makes 1 jar)

  • 130g sea salt

  • 100g caster sugar

  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme or a sprig of fresh leaves

  • 5 large unwaxed lemons
  • 
Olive oil

Method

  1. Clean and sterilise a large jar. 
  2. In a separate bowl mix the salt, sugar and thyme together and sprinkle a pinch of this flavouring mixture into your jar.
  3. Use a sharp knife to quarter the lemons from the top to within 1/2 inch of the bottom, make sure not to cut them completely. Sprinkle the flavouring mixture into the cuts to cover the flesh and then push the fruit back together.
  4. Put the lemons in the jar, pressing them down firmly to release the juices. When all the lemons are in the jar they should be completely covered by the juice and flavouring mixture.
  5. Let the lemons ripen at room temperature, shaking the jar each day to distribute the flavouring and juice.
  6. After 10-30 days top the lemons with olive oil and refrigerate. Preserved lemons will keep for up to a year.