This recipe came from me flipping through cookbooks and forgetting some lemon confit in the back of the refrigerator.
I don’t read a lot of traditional books. As well as ADHD, I have dyslexia. That makes novels and history books a struggle for me. But cookbooks? I always want to look at cookbooks. I flip through them, growing jazzed about flavor combinations and new techniques. The photographs pull me in.
So I was flipping through Adeena Sussman’s amazing cookbook, Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen, and I spotted a recipe for preserved lemon paste. Now that seemed like a brilliant idea. Lemons are so vibrant. They bring the flavors out of everything. That’s why I always have lemons in the kitchen.
But I didn’t have preserved lemons in the kitchen. I stopped making them after I remembered my lemon confit recipe, the one I made in restaurants for years. Too bad we had run out of them. I walked into the kitchen to make some lunch and sort of forgot about it.
Later in the day, in attempting to clean out the refrigerator, I found a container full of lemon confit. They were shoved in the back, behind the homemade kimchi and pickled red peppers. For once, forgetting I had food in the refrigerator helped.
So I gave it a whirl.
This paste is going to be a staple here now. It has bitterness, acid, sourness, plus a depth from the shallots that sat in the container with the lemons. Oh, it’s good.
If it seems soupy when you first make it, don’t worry. It should have the consistency of a partially melted salty lemon sorbet.