When Life Gives You Lemons

Bring the freshness of summer throughout the year with the citrus zing of these preserved lemon recipes.

Written by:Paul Hagen
Photographed by:Steve Henke
Lemon angel food cake on Blackbrook

Citrus flavors add a vibrant and refreshing dimension to recipes, infusing dishes with a zesty brightness that tantalizes the taste buds. Whether used as a primary ingredient or a finishing touch, the tangy acidity of lemons balances and enhances other flavors, elevating the overall complexity of a dish.

Roasted artichoke on Blackbrook

Cambria deisgn shown: Blackbrook™

Roasted Artichoke With Preserved Lemon and Garlic Aioli

Adapted from the Preppy Kitchen
Makes 8 Servings

For the Artichokes

  • 4 artichokes
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice per artichoke
  • ½ c. olive oil per artichoke
  • Sprinkle of salt per artichoke
  • 1–2 garlic cloves per artichoke

For the Aioli

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 garlic cloves (taken from roasted artichokes)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. olive oil
  • Pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice


  1. Trim the pointy ends of the artichoke leaves. Halve and scoop out the insides. Sprinkle them with lemon juice. Place 1–2 cloves of smashed garlic in each. Drizzle olive oil liberally on the inside of the artichoke. Sprinkle with salt and top each with a slice of preserved lemon. Turn artichoke halves, cut side down, using the lemon slice to hold the garlic in. Bake at 400°, cut side down, for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cover in foil, and bake for an additional 25–30 minutes or until tender.
  2. For the aioli, blend egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add oil gradually. Drizzle over artichokes or pour into a serving dish for dipping.

Pair Like A Pro | Leslee Miller recommends pairing with Matteo Correggia Arneis, Piedmont, Italy
“Correggia’s Arneis opens with notes of stone fruit, tart green apple, and citrus. Unctuously layered, this underrated Italian has what it takes to balance out the nuttiness of the artichoke, while making friends with the lemony side of its dipping partner. Yum!”

Chicken tagine on Blackbrook

Cambria deisgn shown: Blackbrook

Chicken Tagine With Olives and Preserved Lemons

Adapted from the New York Times
Makes 4 Servings


  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp. saffron threads, pulverized
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. Turmeric
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 chicken, cut in 8 to 10 pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, sliced thin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 8 cracked green olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 large or 3 small preserved lemons
  • 1 c. chicken stock
  • Juice of half a fresh lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Mix garlic, saffron, ginger, paprika, cumin, and turmeric together. Add ½ tsp. salt. Add pepper to taste. Rub chicken with mixture, cover, refrigerate, and marinate 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Heat oil in heavy skillet. Add chicken, and brown on all sides. Remove to platter. Add onions to skillet, and cook over medium-low heat about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer to tagine, if you are using one, or leave in skillet. Add cinnamon stick. Put chicken on onions. Scatter with olives. Quarter the lemons, remove pulp, and cut skin in strips. Scatter over chicken. Mix stock and lemon juice. Pour over chicken. Cover tagine or skillet.
  3. Place over low heat, and cook about 30 minutes, until chicken is done. Scatter parsley on top, and serve.


Pair Like A Pro | Leslee Miller recommends pairing with Descendientes de J. Palacios ‘Pétalos’ Mencía, Bierzo, Spain
“I love the idea of pairing this vibrant, crunchy, yet oh-so-juicy red with this dish. Mencía is a grape that loves food with dimension. The brightly lit cherry spice of this wine is best enjoyed with a tiny chill, a perfect pairing to the lemony and savory sides of this exquisite dish.”

Lemon angel food cake on Blackbrook

Cambria deisgn shown: Blackbrook

Lemon Angel Food Cake With Preserved Lemon Curd

Adapted from the New York Times
Makes 12 Servings

For the Cake

  • 1 c. cake flour
  • 1-1⁄3 c. granulated sugar
  • 12 large egg whites
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • ½ c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. lemon extract

For the Curd

  • ½ c. lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp. powdered gelatin
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1¼ c. granulated sugar
  • ½ c. unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ c. preserved lemon juice (strained from a batch of salt-preserved lemons)
  • Finely grated zest of two lemons
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 c. heavy cream


  1. Heat the oven to 350° with rack in center.
  2. To make the cake, sift flour and 1/3 c. granulated sugar into a large bowl. Use electric mixer to combine egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar. Beat with whisk attachment on medium-high speed until medium peaks form (about 3 minutes). Gradually add remaining 1 c. granulated sugar and beat until firm, glossy peaks form. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and lemon extract. Sift a quarter of the flour mixture over egg whites and use a rubber spatula to fold until barely combined. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Scrape into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, smooth top, and bake until cake is springy and pulls away from the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  3. Next, make the curd. In a small bowl, combine ¼ c. lemon juice and gelatin; set aside. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. In a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar, butter, preserved lemon juice, zest, salt, and remaining ¼ c. fresh lemon juice. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water until warm. Remove from the heat, then pour over the eggs in a thin stream, constantly whisking. Place bowl with the egg and lemon mixture over the simmering water pot and cook, stirring constantly, to 175° (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in gelatin mixture, and immediately pour through a fine strainer into a wide bowl over an ice bath, stirring until mixture is cool. Chill for 1 hour. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold into the lemon curd and chill for another hour, until cold. To serve, unmold the cake. Using a serrated knife, halve the cake crosswise to create 2 layers. Dollop some of the lemon cream to cover. Replace cake top, dollop on more lemon cream and serve.


Pair Like A Pro | Leslee Miller, Certified sommelier of Amusée, recommends pairing with Foris ‘Dry’ Gewürztraminer, Rogue Valley, Oregon
“Fresh honeydew and key lime citrus make this Oregon star the perfect complement to the soft, billowy layers of this gorgeous dessert. Slightly frothy, dry, and refreshing, this Gewürz is the ultimate summer treat.”

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