Salted Lemon Spread

This is not a recipe for preserved lemons, for which there are a great variety of recipes, but it’s typically lemon slices, salt, and hot chile pepper flakes. This recipe author goes one step further.

Adeena Sussman, the Tel-Aviv based author of Sababa, published in 2019, recommends blending preserved lemons into a paste. By the way, her recipe from her website for preserved lemons only contains lemons and salt.

From Ms. Sussman: “Once you make them into a paste or a condiment, called ‘mimrach limon kavush’ in Hebrew, you immediately find so many more ways to use it,” she says, adding that a paste can be more evenly distributed throughout a dish “so you can get that funky, salty, fermented flavor across in a more subtle way.”

This salted lemon spread includes a jalapeño and garlic, so it’s got a bit more of a punch than a paste of preserved lemons. Some interesting recommendations for using it – a Bloody Mary, a salad dressing, a marinade, and in rice. All very intriguing!

Adeena Sussman’s 24-Hour Salted Lemon Spread
A punchy, bright, spicy condiment

3 to 4 large lemons (1 pound), preferably thin-skinned, scrubbed
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small green jalapeno, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons canola or other neutral-flavored oil

Trim the tops and bottoms from the lemons and slice each one into 8 wedges, then trim and discard all the visible white membranes from the tips of the wedges and remove and discard the seeds.

Cut each wedge crosswise into 3 chunks and toss them in a medium nonreactive bowl along with the garlic, jalapeno, and salt.

Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, tossing every 8 hours.

Transfer the contents of the bowl to the bowl of a food processor and puree with the oil until almost smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Stored in an airtight container, the 24-hour salted lemon spread will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.

To try out the salted lemon spread, I immediately thought about salmon, grilled gently, then topped with a layer of the spread.

I served the salmon over a bed of creamy sautéed spinach, and the whole combination was outstanding!

My first impression of this spread was, “Wow, this is pungent!” Next thing I knew, I was addicted to it.

By Published On: June 24th, 202436 Comments on Salted Lemon Spread

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. beth June 24, 2024 at 6:38 AM - Reply

    I’ve never had a lemon spread of any kind, but this sounds delicious, especially on fish

    • Chef Mimi June 24, 2024 at 7:06 AM - Reply

      It’s potent, but really good!

  2. CarolCooks2 June 24, 2024 at 6:59 AM - Reply

    This sounds absolutely kind of recipe :)

    • Chef Mimi June 24, 2024 at 7:06 AM - Reply

      It’s good – and very potent!

  3. sallybr June 24, 2024 at 7:08 AM - Reply

    Super intrigued… I would have to commit the sin of leaving the garlic out of it, but still I might give it a try! will keep you posted

    • Chef Mimi June 24, 2024 at 8:34 AM - Reply

      Oh no! Are you allergic to garlic?

  4. Bernadette June 24, 2024 at 7:26 AM - Reply

    Looks very interesting. How much salt do you think you used?

    • Chef Mimi June 24, 2024 at 8:34 AM - Reply

      I followed the recipe exactly!

  5. David Scott Allen June 24, 2024 at 1:48 PM - Reply

    I’ll have to try this — maybe using garlic chives in addition to the jalapeño. My neighbor makes a salted lemon purée from preserved lemons — this sounds much higher end! Btw — my preserved lemons are made with salt and lemon only, as well. Putting additional things in them introduces the possibility of molds and bacteria. Some people use olive oil, which goes bad so quickly.

    • Chef Mimi June 25, 2024 at 6:22 AM - Reply

      Very good to know. I had no idea about the potential for mold and bacteria. Awful. And scary!!!

  6. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen June 24, 2024 at 2:20 PM - Reply

    I’m all for this one Mimi! Splendid!

    • Chef Mimi June 25, 2024 at 6:22 AM - Reply

      It’s very interesting, isn’t it?!!

      • Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen June 25, 2024 at 7:34 AM

        You have a talent for finding these fascinating ideas and dishes!

      • Chef Mimi June 25, 2024 at 5:08 PM

        Things just jump out at me, and when I’m intrigued, I have to try them out!

      • Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen June 25, 2024 at 8:20 PM

        And, you have to have an instinct that it’s going to be good!

      • Chef Mimi June 26, 2024 at 6:48 AM

        Thanks. I’ve been tasting for many years!

  7. Anonymous June 24, 2024 at 6:30 PM - Reply

    what an interesting recipe, very nice

    • Chef Mimi June 25, 2024 at 6:22 AM - Reply

      It’s unique and really fun. I need to make more and be more creative with it!

  8. Ben | Havocinthekitchen June 24, 2024 at 6:37 PM - Reply

    This lemon spread is unique and intriguing. I can see so many beautiful ways to utilize this tasty zesty condiment

    • Chef Mimi June 25, 2024 at 6:23 AM - Reply

      I need to make it again and get more creative with it!

  9. cookingontheweekends June 24, 2024 at 7:05 PM - Reply

    Fabulous recipe, Mimi. I’ve made lemon pesto, but this goes further with its flavor combination. Yum! :-) ~Valentina

    • Chef Mimi June 25, 2024 at 6:23 AM - Reply

      It’s really unique, with the preserved lemons. Pretty wonderful!

  10. Gerlinde de Broekert June 25, 2024 at 12:45 AM - Reply

    What a wonderful recipe Mimi. It is right up my alley. I am going to use my Meyer lemons from my tree.

    • Chef Mimi June 25, 2024 at 6:24 AM - Reply

      Oh, you’re so lucky! I’ve tried to grow citrus here, to no avail.

  11. Tandy | Lavender and Lime June 25, 2024 at 1:10 AM - Reply

    My mouth is watering! This sounds so divine, and I love that the entire lemon gets used :)

    • Chef Mimi June 25, 2024 at 6:24 AM - Reply

      I loved this recipe!

  12. terrie gura June 25, 2024 at 2:35 PM - Reply

    This sounds pretty fabulous, and I can surely see how it would be a very versatile ingredient. Thank you for sharing, Mimi!

    • Chef Mimi June 25, 2024 at 5:08 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome Terrie!

  13. sherry June 26, 2024 at 12:15 AM - Reply

    this sounds so good Mimi. I turned my preserved lemons into a harissa paste recently so I reckon this would be a tasty spread too.

    • Chef Mimi June 26, 2024 at 6:48 AM - Reply

      Ohhh, that sounds really good, too!

  14. David @ Spicedblog June 26, 2024 at 5:37 AM - Reply

    What an interesting idea. I can definitely say I’ve never come across a recipe quite like this one before – but I can see how it could become addicting. I’m intrigued by the idea of using this in a Bloody Mary…different for sure, but it could be awesome!

    • Chef Mimi June 26, 2024 at 6:50 AM - Reply

      Interestingly enough, I’m not a huge lemon fan – some people seem to squeeze it on everything! And I’d rather enjoy peach or raspberry curd or lemon. But for some reason I made this and it’s spectacular!

  15. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats June 27, 2024 at 12:05 AM - Reply

    This type of spread is very popular in Israel, more often with using lemons that were preserved longer than 24 hour.
    As one of those who “squeeze lemon on everything”, I’ll definitely try it soon. Using it on grilled salmon is a great idea!

    • Chef Mimi June 27, 2024 at 6:27 AM - Reply

      Oh that’s amazing! Chefs seem to always comment on how a dish needs lemon! I never think that way, however, I’m not a chef! I just don’t get it…. But this was incredible!!

  16. Raymund July 2, 2024 at 10:01 PM - Reply

    Adeena Sussman’s approach to the Salted Lemon Spread sounds like a game-changer! I love how you’ve embraced the punchy flavors with garlic and jalapeño, making it more versatile than traditional preserved lemons.

    • Chef Mimi July 3, 2024 at 6:41 AM - Reply

      It was very fun to make! I need to experiment more with it.

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