Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons are easy to make. They are used a lot in Middle Eastern and North African cooking to add a citrusy boost to dishes. 


4-6 lemons, washed per jar
1 tablespoon salt per lemon
1-2 bay leaves per jar

Sterilise a couple of jars (whatever size you have).

Cut the lemons lengthways into quarters keeping the stalk end on.

Mix them with 1 tablespoon salt per lemon and stuff them into the jars as tightly as you can, add 1-2 bay leaves per jar. Gradually over the course of a few days, liquid will be released from the lemons. The liquid should cover the lemons completely.

At the end of that time they should be refrigerated. The lemons will last for a year if you make sure you use a clean spoon whenever you remove any from the jar. To use, discard the flesh of the lemons and use the rind.


Preserved Tomatoes

A great way of preserving tomatoes when they are at their best during the summer months. Use them during the winter in pasta sauces, on cheese sandwiches or in a tomato salsa.

2 litres water
60 gr caster sugar
30 gr salt
4 bay leaves
5 cloves
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
130 ml white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 kg firm ripe tomatoes, cut into pieces
10 sprigs dill, roughly chopped
100 g celery, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 onions, finely sliced


Bring a large pan with the water, sugar, salt, bay leaves, cloves and mustard seeds to the boil. Once the water has boiled, turn off the heat and allow the water to cool so that all the flavours are released.

Once it's completely cooled, add the vinegar and mix well. Pour the sunflower oil into a 2 liter preserving jar. Place the tomato, dill, celery and garlic in the jar. Add the onions last, so that they are on top. Pour over the cooled liquid, close the lid and place the jar in a warm place (25 C) for 10 days.

The tomatoes, if well sealed, can keep for up to 6 months.

Preserved Spicy Lemons

This is a recipe we've adapted slightly from the beautiful cookbook Honey & Co. by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich.

5 small lemons, unwaxed
3 Tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon smoked chilli flakes
olive oil to cover

Slice the lemons as thinly as you can, removing any pips. Place the lemon slices in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and smoked chilli flakes. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes and room temperature.

Push the lemon slices into a sterilised jar so that they re tightly packed with all the liquid that has formed in the bowl. Add enough olive oil so that they are covered  and seal the jar. They can be used the next day, but improve over time. Once the jar has been opened, store in the fridge and use within a month.

When you use them for cooking, take as much as you need out of the jar. Chop and use the entire lemon slice - you don't need to discard the flesh. They can be used as a relish with fish or chicken , chopped through a flavoured butter or try mixing through some mayonnaise to serve with our Roast duck salad.

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours


Duck Confit

4 duck legs
100 g coarse sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 head garlic, separated into cloves
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves, crumbled
700g duck or goose fat

Rub the duck legs with the coarse sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, one crushed garlic clove, four sprigs of thyme and the bay leaves. Pack tightly into a ceramic dish, skin side down, then drizzle over the brandy, cover the dish with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 150C. Scrape the marinade off the duck pieces.

Heat the duck or goose fat in a heavy ovenproof casserole dish, then add the duck, the remaining garlic cloves and the remaining thyme. Make sure that the duck is completely submerged in the melted fat.
Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 3½-4 hours, or until the meat is very tender when pierced with a skewer and the fat in the skin is completely rendered.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool uncovered. Strain half of the fat and bring to the boil in another pan, then pour into a clean ceramic dish large enough to hold the duck without it touching the sides. Leave to set in the fridge.
Once the duck is cool, place into the prepared ceramic dish and strain over the remainder of the melted fat and place into the fridge for 1-2 hours to set. (This can be stored in the fridge for up to one month.)
To serve, preheat the oven to 200C. Scrape off the fat from the duck legs, then place into a roasting tray. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and golden-brown. Serve immediately.

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours