Lemons are finally ripe in my northern California home garden and I use the lemons from my Eureka tree. My drawing of them is the right. Middle Eastern recipes usually call for Meyer Lemons, which are a cross between a lemon and a tangerine or orange tree and have thinner skins. Either the Lisbon or Eureka varietal, both true lemons, the former having a thinner skin, are fine to use. Serve with roast chicken or Middle Eastern dishes.
32 lemons, about 6 pounds
3 quarts water, plus 3 cups
5 ½ tablespoons Kosher salt
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 teaspoon black pepper corns
4 bay leaves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Bring the water to a boil and place washed lemons in water for 4 minutes. Drain and cool in cold water. Cut lemons in quarters, about ¾ the way down so that the lemon is still in tack. Place about 7-8 lemons in a wide-mouth, sterile quart jar with lid.
In a separate pot, bring to boil the 3 cups of water, salt, and spices. Pour the water over the lemons, covering them. Top with olive oil. Store for 4 weeks in cool, dark, dry spot. Refrigerate after opening. If too salty, rinse in water prior to serving.