Preserved Lemon Rind or Everything From Lemons

The following recipe addresses the special diet considerations for: Dairy-free, gluten-free, low fat, low glycemic index, vegan, vegetarian, anti-cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases.

Often people only use the juice and the outermost layer of the rind from lemons. Here’s a way to use almost the whole lemon and thus gain full advantage of all the culinary and health promoting qualities lemons have to offer. With this recipe, you’ll get preserved lemon rind, similar to that eaten with tagine in North Africa and the Middle East, lemon stock, and cider-lemon vinegar, as well as fresh lemon juice.

The preserved lemon rind will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator, as long as it is kept in a thoroughly cleaned container with a lid. Use the preserved lemon rind by cutting into very thin slices and adding to salads, on top of cooked fish, mixed into rice or other grains, or in sandwiches. You can even add very small amounts to desserts that need a touch of acidity.

The lemon stock is bitter and slightly acidic. It’s great as a base for soups, for boiling rice and other grains, or as a refreshing drink when mixed with ice cold water and a bit of honey. It can also be used for lemony ice cubes. The stock will keep for a week in the refrigerator or indefinitely if frozen.

Also remember to save the vinegar used to preserve the lemon rinds. It has absorbed some of their flavour and tastes great in marinades, for salad dressings, in sauces, or as a substitute for normal cider vinegar or brown rice vinegar.

Never use non-organic lemons for this recipe, as the rind might be laced with residues from pesticides and other chemicals used while they were growing or during transport to prolong their shelf life.

  • 10 ripe organic lemons with unblemished skins, washed thoroughly

  • water

  • approx. 3 cups (.75 L) organic cider vinegar

Cooking Instructions

1) Cut the lemons in half and squeeze all the juice out of them. Save both the juice and the lemon rind. Use the fresh lemon juice to make a salad dressing, ice tea, freeze it, or whatever you might fancy. It isn’t part of this recipe, but it would be a waste to throw it away.
2) Place the lemon rinds in a pot and cover completely with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and leave to simmer for 35-40 minutes with a lid on.
3) Remove the lemon rinds from the water, which has now become lemon stock, and leave to drain and cool in a colander. Remember to collect the stock that runs off the lemon rinds.
4) Strain the lemon stock through a fine-meshed sieve to remove any pips, debris, and impurities.
5) Carefully scrape out any remaining pips, membranes, or lemon flesh from the rinds, so that only the rind itself and the innermost layer of pith is left.
6) Place the cleaned lemon rinds in a clean container, cover with organic cider vinegar, and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 48 hours before using.

Note: Measurements are provided in both U.S. and European/metric units.

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Written by Chef Oscar Umahro Cadogan

Explore Wellness in 2021