Italian or Moroccan-Spiced Lacto-Fermented Lemon Recipe

Image fermented lemons This is a simple recipe which can be made two different ways – plain Italian or spiced Moroccan – used for a wide-range of recipes.

Like all other lacto-fermented foods made in the Pickl-It, the water-airlock and Pickl-It air-tight seal keep oxygen out, and the lactic-acid in for a superb anaerobic lacto-fermenting chamber.

Lacto-fermented citrus recipe uses more salt than lacto-fermentation vegetable recipes, such as sauerkraut or even cucumber pickles. When you’re dealing with fruit, you are dealing with a very different set of microbes, so please don’t skimp on the salt as they inhibit putrefying bacteria.

Also, keep in mind, these lacto-fermented lemons are meant to be used sparingly, their brine, rind, zest or flesh, added by the teaspoonfuls for a “punch” of flavor, not meant to dominate the essence of the dish.

  • Add lemon zest to a basic avocado and tomato salad, along with a dash of salt and pepper
  • Season couscous or rice, adding either the brine, flesh or zest of fermented lemons, just before serving
  • Create fresh condiments for fish, chicken, pork; mixing chopped parsley, garlic and lacto-fermented lemon zest
  • Substitute lacto-fermented lemon flesh, juice or rind/zest in recipes calling for fresh lemons

Basic Recipe for Italian and Moroccan Lacto-fermented Lemons

Both recipes begin with the same foundation: whole thick-skinned American-style lemons – quartered, but not cut completely through – which are then stuffed with several tablespoons of salt and packed into a Pickl-It container, then covered with freshly-squeezed lemon juice-brine.

Image Stop Sign This is the stopping point if you want a traditional, Italian, lacto-fermented lemon, ready in 30-days of fermenting at room temperature – between 68-72F. At the end of that wait, you’ll be rewarded with a flavorful, beautiful batch of classic Italian preserved lemons, which you will keep for months, stored in your refrigerator.

If Moroccan preserved lemons are preferred, simply add the following whole, organic spices, and then ferment for 30-days:

  • bay leaf – 4
  • cinnamon stick – 2 3-inch
  • allspice – 1 T
  • coriander seed – 1 T

The spices transform the flavor profile to that of traditional north African cuisine, reflecting a wide variety of classic Moroccan dishes.

If you can’t decide, make two different batches. There are so many recipes to try!

Tiny Dill 500 Bar

Basic (Italian) Lacto-Fermented Lemons

7 to 8 medium lemons (organic, without a wax coating)
7 lemons – freshly juiced
3/4 cup unrefined sea salt

Image Salted Lemon

  1. Review how to set up your Pickl-It
  2. Thoroughly wash organic lemons, removing any remaining blossom (if pulled fresh from the tree).
  3. Cut lemons in quarters STOPPING 1/4-inch from bottom, so the sections remain connected.
  4. Stuff 2-T salt into openings of each lemon, gently compacting into each cut section.
  5. Pack into 1 1/2-liter Pickl-It container.
  6. Mix remaining salt & lemon juice.
  7. Pour lemon juice/salt over lemons packed in Pickl-It.
  8. The brine should extend 1/2-inch above the lemons; if not, add filtered, non-chlorine, non-fluoride water to raise level.
  9. DO NOT PACK Pickl-It higher than shoulder; all lacto-fermented foods expand and you need to keep an airspace between the brine and the bottom of the airlock.
  10. Close & latch Pickl-It cover.
  11. Place 1 1/2 T water in Pickl-It airlock (gently twist into grommet in Pickl-It cover before filling with water).
  12. Place Pickl-It in dark corner, cover Pickl-It body, making sure not to cover the airlock.
  13. Ferment at room temperature for 30-days; check airlock water-level and brine-level every few days.
  14. At the end of the 30-days, refrigerate; use in recipes.

Red Dot Divider

Recipe Ideas – Click here.