Food, Home & Lifestyle

Homemade Condiments: Quick Lemon Paste

Yotam Ottolenghi

Lesson time 06:28 min

Learn how to make this magical condiment with just three ingredients: lemons, lemon juice, and salt.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Quick Lemon Paste


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:06.42] YOTAM OTTOLENGHI: I'm going to make a quick preserved-lemon paste. Preserved lemons are something really magical. It's three ingredients-- lemons, lemon juice, and salt-- that allow the lemon to break down, for all the oils to start giving their flavors, and for the skins to soften. And it gives you a real perfumed aroma of lemons, and we use it a lot in the kitchen for sauces, for salsas, to finish things off. [00:00:31.92] But you do need to give it a good two, three weeks to really come to its own, even longer than that. So I'm going to make a real sheet preserved-lemon paste-- so something like that-- but without all the time it takes for it to come together. And this is something you can have in a jar in the fridge, and you will always enjoy. [00:00:53.24] I'm just starting by thinly slicing some lemons. And you really want to make sure there's no seeds there, so just kind of have a look through. Rummage through. If there's no seeds, all cool, but otherwise, take them out. [00:01:16.96] And you want to kind of get rid of the very end here so there's too much flesh there and too much of the white pith, and kind of like a quarter of an inch or a bit less. And just have a look. If you see any little seeds, get rid of them. If they're not there, straight into the pot. [00:01:43.81] I add lemon juice. You want the lemons to be sitting in the juice. You kind of spread them around-- and salt. And that's really all there is-- 2 tablespoons of salt, a lemon or a lemon and a 1/2, or two if they're smaller. [00:02:02.20] And I'm just going to bring that two to simmer. It won't take very long. And I'm looking for the salt to dissolve in the lemon juice. I want it to get to a very low simmer, then I'm going to cover it and leave it. [00:02:18.07] And the rinds will start to turn translucent, and everything is going to start to disintegrate, and turns really beautiful. And you're going to start smelling-- smelling the lemon cooking slowly. And after about 20 minutes, it should be ready. [00:02:30.71] The preserved lemon paste could be used for so many things. You can add it to yogurt and make a preserved-lemon yogurt sauce, which would then go alongside meats or roasted vegetables. You could even add it to cakes to give it a really strong lemony aroma. [00:02:50.36] What you get at the end of this is something which is sharp, salty, and a little bit bitter, and it's a really intense set of flavors. So often, when I use my preserved-lemon paste, I counteract it with a bit of sweetness, a drop of maple syrup, 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar. It always helps to bring it up. You get more acidity with a little bit of sweetness. [00:03:15.74] Once it starts simmering like that, you cover it. You lower the heat to medium-low, and then just let it sit for about 12 minutes. [00:03:26.20] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:03:31.31] So after about 12 minutes, you can see how the lemon has gone all nice and translucent and started to...

About the Instructor

One of the most influential chefs working today, Yotam Ottolenghi creates dishes that layer color and flavor for maximum impact. Now the James Beard Award winner teaches you simple steps for making and mixing Middle Eastern–inspired recipes. Learn how to make generous platters—mezze and brunch spreads to homemade condiments, stunning stand-alones, and delicious vegetables—so you can entertain with ease.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Yotam Ottolenghi

James Beard Award–winning chef Yotam Ottolenghi teaches you his recipes for delicious Middle Eastern platters layered with color and flavor.

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