Moroccan Eggplant Salad with Preserved Lemon

by on October 4, 2006
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I went in search of a North African side dish to serve with the Tunisian Bean and Chickpea Stew, and I found this Moroccan salad that interested me because it contains preserved lemons. A couple of months ago, I bought a jar of preserved lemons since I knew that I had seen recipes calling for them, but once I actually had the lemons, I couldn’t find the recipes. So, when I saw this one, I knew I had to make it.

If you’re unfamiliar with preserved lemons, they’re widely used in North African cooking to give a complex, lemony taste to stews and salads. They’re made by stuffing lemons with salt and allowing them to pickle in their own juices for about a month. To use them, you chop the rind into tiny pieces and sometimes blend the pulp into sauces. Since they’re packed in salt, they’re high in sodium, so there’s no need to add additional salt to dishes they’re in, but you can wash them first to remove some of the salt.

I found this jar in a Middle Eastern grocery store, but they’re relatively easy to make, and recipes are all over the internet. In fact, when the Meyer lemons in my parents’ orchard are ripe in a couple of months, I’m going to try my hand at making my own. I’ll let you know if homemade is better than store-bought.

Anyway, here’s the salad recipe, plus a bonus.

Moroccan Eggplant Salad with Preserved Lemon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The taste of this salad is different, but it grows on you. (Adapted from The Mercury News)
Serves: 6
  • 2 large eggplants, unpeeled (about 2 pounds)
  • olive oil spray
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Dash of hot pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons diced preserved lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut the eggplants into ½-inch cubes. Spray a large, long baking dish with olive oil, and add the eggplant. Spray the top of the eggplant lightly. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until eggplant is tender–about 30 minutes.
  2. Place the eggplant in a serving bowl and toss it with the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, pepper flakes and preserved lemon. Refrigerate until well-chilled–the longer the better. Just before serving, sprinkle with the parsley.


Preserved lemons may be an acquired taste, but I found another recipe where they work perfectly: Preserved Lemon Martinis!

Preserved Lemon Martini


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 britt.white April 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I love your site! I use it all the time for ideas for regular dinners or special occasions.


2 Jessica June 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Do you have a substitute for preserved lemon?


3 Diane Balch February 17, 2014 at 7:29 am

Your recipe is being featured in a collection of preserved lemon dishes on Simple Living and Eating. I will be pinning and tweeting it this week.


4 sc July 23, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Where are the instructions for making the Moroccan Eggplant Salad with Preserved Lemons – I can’t seem to get to them – only the martini instructions show up… Thanks


5 Susan Voisin July 23, 2016 at 8:48 pm

Sorry about that! I think it’s fixed now. Thanks for letting me know.


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