Cured Lemons …

This is a delicious, quick and simple recipe for when you have a glut of lemons …

You will need:

3 medium lemons – preferably home grown, organic or chemical free
3 tablespoons of salt
3 tablespoons of white sugar
¼ cup good quality white vinegar
¾ cup of olive oil – it is not necessary to buy top of the range extra virgin, first press etc
Several small wide-mouthed jars


I like to sterilize my jars by filling them with boiling water. Leave them for 5 minutes before pouring out the water and drying them in the oven .

Wash the lemons and slice them as thinly as possible, discarding the pithy ends.  I used a mini mandolin with the thinnest insert, which gave me slices about 1-2 mm thick.  Slice the lemon slices in half to make them easier to fit into your jars, and remove all pips.

Mix the other ingredients together and warm slightly either in a microwave or saucepan to help the sugar and salt dissolve.

Pack the jars full of lemon slices, and then pour the warm olive oil mixture into the jars, filling them right to the top.  Close the lids tightly and invert.  Leave the jars on your sink drainer (just in case they leak) and over the next 48 hours rotate them three or four times to cure and circulate the oil mixture.

Place the jars in the fridge, where they will keep for about a month – unless you eat them first!


  • After a week or so, the lemon softens and loses its sharpness, and I have even eaten slices from the jar.
  • Use to garnish steamed fish, or pop in some slices if you are cooking fish in parchment paper.
  • Because there is oil, lemon and vinegar in the mix, it is essentially a simple dressing, so I have used it to dress a small side salad.  You might need to add a little more lemon juice or vinegar. My latest creation being baby peas, with home grown herbs, nuts and seeds and goats’ cheese.
  • I found that two of my large home-grown lemons and ¾ cup of oil filled two of the squat 250ml  jars that are so common nowadays.