Salt-Preserved Citrus Skins Recipe

1 / 3
2 / 3
3 / 3

Photo from Adobe Stock/domnitsky

Everyone is always asking us how to use citrus skins once the fruit has been juiced. This recipe isn’t as fancy as preserved lemons, but is a great way to reduce kitchen waste and at the same time produce a delicious kitchen staple. It is similar to preserving lemons, except you’re using 100% salt to preserve the citrus skins, and no citrus juice. And you can combine all different kinds of citrus skins in the one jar — there is no need to preserve them in separate jars.

When a recipe calls for preserved lemons or citrus peel, you can fish a bit of your salt-preserved citrus skin out of the jar, rinse it or soak it for 30 minutes, then thinly slice it to use in stews, soups, tagines, marinades and dressings.

STORAGE: up to 2 years
MAKES: 1 x 1-2 litre (35-70 fl oz/4-8 cup) jar



  • lots of pure salt or cooking salt
  • citrus skins, such as lemon, lime, mandarin or orange


  1. Give your jar and lid a good wash and make sure they are completely dry inside.
  2. Put a layer of cooking salt in the bottom of the jar, about 3 cm (1 1/4 inches) deep. Each time you squeeze a lemon, orange or lime, flatten the peel with the palm of your hand and press it into the salt, then cover the skins with more salt. You can cut the citrus peel into strips to speed up the preserving process – just make sure all the skins are buried under the salt.
  3. As time passes, the salt and citrus peel will compress down and you’ll be able to keep adding more to the jar.
  4. The peel will be ready to use after about 6 weeks.
  5. If you’re using a jar with a metal lid, just be mindful that the salt doesn’t reach the top of the jar and corrode the metal.
  6. As the citrus peels release their juices, moisture will start to build up at the bottom of the jar – don’t worry about this, as there is so much salt in the jar that no bacteria will be able to grow.
  7. The jar will happily sit on the benchtop indefinitely, but during a heatwave we like to store it in the fridge.


Also from Cornersmith: Salads and Pickles: Vegetables with More Taste and Less Waste:

Preserving, using up and seasonal eating is the Cornersmith way. Since opening their neighbourhood café in Sydney in 2011, Alex Elliott-Howery and Sabine Spindler have been committed to sustainability. Their recipes put veggies first with dishes such as black bean and spring slaw tortillas. Quick recipes include roasted sweet potato and parsnip topped with feta and walnuts, or make a tabbouleh with leftover veg ahead of time for an autumnal evening. Cornersmith reinvents everyday sides with pickled veg which can be stored for up to six months. In Cornersmith: Salads & Pickles, Alex and Sabine share their passion for cooking with minimal waste. In four chapters, each dedicated to a season, Cornersmith shows us the best way to use seasonal produce, before rounding off with three salad dressing, fermenting and pickling guides and innovative ways to use kitchen scraps, such as using fruit peel to flavour oils. These recipes aren’t about dieting, instead Cornersmith is a must have for anyone interested in the food waste management trend, providing a road map for the future of food.

Reprinted with permission from Cornersmith: Salads and Pickles: Vegetables with More Taste and Less Waste by Alex Elliott-Howery and Sabine Spindler and published by Murdoch Books, 2017.