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Stephanie Izard’s Preserved Lemons Recipe

Chef Stephanie Izard’s recipe for Preserved Lemons comes from her book, “Gather and Graze,” and is a key ingredient in so many wonderful dishes, including Stephanie’s Shrimp Toast. To use preserved lemons, slice the peel and discard the flesh. Clean as much of the white pith off the peel and slice the peels into thin strips. 

Preserved Lemons
Makes 1 quart


3 lemons, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon whole pink peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 cup sea salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vodka


1. In a medium stockpot filled halfway with water over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Using tongs, carefully dunk a 1-quart glass canning jar to sanitize. Boil 10 minutes. Lift out, let drain and set aside. 

2. Add the lemons to the pot and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes. Remove from water and let cool slightly.  

3. Working on a cutting board with well to collect the juices, slice an X into the end of each lemon, cutting 3/4 of the way into the citrus. Stack the lemons, one on top of the other, into the jar so that the uncut end of each lemon fits snugly into the cut end of the one below. Add any accumulated juices to the jar. 

4. In a small pot over medium-high heat, combine the peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander, mustard seeds, salt, sugar, and vodka. Cook until the liquid heats all the way through and begins to bubble, about 8 minutes. There will be salt and sugar that have not fully dissolved, so before pouring into the jar give it a hard stir. Carefully pour over the lemons, being sure to add any solids even if you don’t need all of the liquid. Tightly seal and leave at room temperature to preserve for at least 4 weeks or indefinitely. Once opened, store in the fridge for up to 2 months. 

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