Because the lemons are sliced, this technique takes much less time than the usual recipe for whole preserved lemons.
Make Ahead: The lemons need 3 days' curing time. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 month for best flavor. The recipe can be halved.
Servings: 4 cups
- 6 lemons
- 3 shallots, minced
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 to 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
Plunge the lemons into the water just long enough to soften any outer layer of wax on the fruit. Drain, rinse, then wipe the lemons clean and dry them.
Cut the lemons into very thin slices, discarding the ends and any seeds.
Combine the shallots and garlic in a small bowl.
Combine the salt and sugar in a separate small bowl.
Arrange a layer of lemon slices in the bottom of a medium container with a lid, making sure not to overlap the slices. Sprinkle the lemons first with a little of the shallot-garlic mixture, then with some of the salt-sugar mixture. Repeat to use all the slices, layering them in several stacks and sprinkling them alternately with the 2 mixtures until the final lemon slices are topped with the last of the shallot-garlic and salt-sugar mixtures. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 3 days; after a day or so, turn over the stacks so all the slices can cure evenly.
Drain the lemons in a strainer for about 15 minutes. Have ready a clean 1-quart container with a tight-fitting lid.
Pack the drained lemons tightly in the container, then fill with the oil, making sure the lemons are completely covered. The confit can be used immediately or refrigerated for at least 1 month.
Adapted from Tom Colicchio's " 'wichcraft" (Clarkson Potter, 2009).
Tested by Joe Yonan.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.