In her latest collection of recipes, Joan Nathan shows that she is an anthropologist of the first order as she explores the point of intersection between French and Jewish food traditions and chronicles how it has come to form a culture all its own. This recipe for citron confits is just one of the great results of her discoveries.
8 lemons (about 1½ pounds)
About ½ cup kosher salt
1 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more if necessary
2 tablespoons olive oil
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 them sealed while they preserve. Put the jar in the refrigerator and allow to cure for 2 to 3 weeks. Before using, scrape off the pulp if desired.