Kosher Side Dishes
|Citrons Confits (Preserved Lemons)|
Adapted from Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France, by Joan Nathan
Preserved Lemons are an indispensable item in my pantry cupboard. I use them all the time and believe they are best made at home. Although I have tasted lemons preserved in water or an equal mix of lemon juice and water, I much prefer them preserved in pure lemon juice. Many people scrape out and discard the pulp when using the lemons, but I often include the preserved pulp. I blend a preserved lemon in with my hummus, sprinkle the rind on grilled fish, and stuff my chicken with a whole lemon, and I dice preserved lemons and mix them into salads, rice dishes, and vegetables. In addition to regular lemons, you can also use Meyer lemons or, as Irene Weil does, even kumquats.
8 lemons (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Cut off the very ends of each lemon. Cut each one lengthwise into quarters, cutting to but not through the opposite end. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of salt into the cut sides of each lemon.
Put the lemons in a large jar (it's fine if you have to squeeze them in, because they will shrink), and cover completely with lemon juice. Let sit for a day.
The next day, if they are not covered with lemon juice, pour a thin film of olive oil over the lemons. This will help keep the sealed while they preserve. Put the jar into he refrigerator and allow to cure for 2 to 3 weeks. Before using, scrape off the pulp if desired.
You can shorten the curing period by about 2 weeks by freezing the lemons for a few days after cutting them. Defrost and cure as above in salt and lemon.