Burnt Lemon Spread

Chef Izhar Sa’ar, Rutenberg Restaurant

1 ½ hours

34 fl. oz / 1 liter container

Photography: Matan Choufan

“The smell is insane,” says chef Yizhar Sahar of Rutenberg restaurant. “There’s nothing that smells as good as a burnt lemon.” You can use this as a spread on toast or as a condiment alongside a meat dish or blue cheese, or alternatively in a marinade for baked white fish.

If possible, it’s ideal to use a wood-fired oven or open fire to burn the lemons (in this case, the cook time will be much shorter). It’s also best to select organic lemons for this recipe.


  • 2.2 lb / 1 kg organic lemons, washed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup / 240 ml olive oil or 200 grams butter
  • 1 tablespoon mustard or 1 tablespoon honey (or both, optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to its maximum temperature. Place the whole lemons in one layer onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil on top. Transfer into the oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until the lemon peels deeply blacken. Flip the lemons and continue to bake them until the other sides of the lemon become deeply blackened too. Remove from the oven and let the lemons cool.
  2. Grind the blackened lemons in a food processor, using the whole lemons with the peel. If you don’t love the strong flavor of burnt lemon peels you can get rid of some of the blacked lemon peels before processing. While processing the spread, add salt and olive oil (or butter) and process until it forms a smooth spread. If you’d like, you can add honey or mustard while processing the spread. The burnt lemon spread can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 4 months in an airtight container.

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