Lemon trees are everywhere here in Northern California. When the season is upon us they are abundant and, in addition to sharing lemons with friends and neighbors, we get creative using them. Each year we like to make a few jars of preserved lemons to use the minced peel for garnish on salads and in salmon dishes. We love to throw some into a Bloody Mary drink as well.
Lots of kosher salt
1 TBSP black peppercorns
2-3 bay leaves
1 medium Mason jar (or similar container)
Wash 3 to 5 organic lemons, enough to fit snugly in a medium Mason jar. Generously layer salt on the bottom of the jar. Slice each lemon into 4 sections, while keeping the sections adhered to about ½ inch of the bottom section of the lemon (so that they almost are cut into quarters). Generously rub kosher salt over the cut wedges and then reshape the fruit. Add the cut lemons to the jar while sprinkling salt on each layer. It is okay if they break apart. Release the juices by pressing the lemons down. Add the bay leaves and peppercorns. Juice the remaining lemons needed to so that the jar is fully covered.
Tighten the lid. Shake the jar daily and allow the lemons to sit at room temperature in the brine until the rinds are tender about 3-4 weeks. Move to the refrigerator, wash and use the rind as a garnish raw, or at the end of cooking. You can continue to add organic lemons to the brine as the lemons are being used to replenish the jar.