My secret ingredient: boiled lemons

I first made boiled lemons by chance – many years ago – because I didn’t have any preserved. I put salt in the water then, but now I like it boiled plain.

I boil it for between 20-30 minutes. I haven’t timed it, I just feel it, and when it is really soft, it’s done … not more than 30 minutes usually. Keep it down with a plate so that it doesn’t float, but you don’t need to if you’ve got a lid.

When you want to use it, cut it open, remove the pips and you can use all of it, even any juice that comes out.

I use it for Moroccan dishes, with chicken, lamb or fish, and sometimes I chop it up and put it in a salad of roast peppers and salted baby tomatoes.

It’s not that usual to boil citrus. I haven’t heard of anyone doing this and certainly, people that have eaten it at my house all want to do it afterwards.

It is wonderful; it tastes very much better than preserved lemon. A lot of the preserved lemons you find in shops have a flavour that doesn’t taste homemade or artisanal.