preserved pickled lemons with harissa paste and spices

By Pip Spence

These gorgeous little flavour bombs can totally transform the taste and fragrance of a tagine or curry. Popular in Asian and African cuisine, preserved lemons offer a sour and zesty balance against sweet, floral and spicy notes. Half a lemon stirred into the stew whilst it is ticking away will boost all the other flavours.

Another simple way to use them is to slice one up and pop it under the skin of a chicken or stir into a stuffing before roasting. A really simple trick is to chop one up, place it in a saucepan on a medium heat with curry leaves and toasted brown mustard seeds for a quick lemon pickle.

Preserved lemons are great back-up if you haven’t got fresh lemons too.  Cut one in half and place it in a hot frying pan, cut side down. Cook until the lemon goes sticky and golden, and serve with grilled oily fish or chicken.

They’re available all year round and last in the fridge, so prolong summer that little bit longer by cracking open a jar.

About the author

Pip Spence

Pip is a junior stylist in Jamie’s food team. She spends her life following Jamie around, testing his recipes and helping out on shoots. She is addicted to Instagram (@pipparoo_spence), fascinated by food history, and obsessed with homemade ice cream. Mostly she writes about store cupboard heroes, using up leftovers and hearty comfort food.

Pip Spence