Pulse the peppercorns in a spice grinder until coarsely ground. Add the salt and sugar and pulse a few more times. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the olive oil, lemon zest, and garlic. Microwave until hot but not boiling, about 45 seconds. Let cool.
This rub, inspired by jarred lemon-pepper seasoning but oh-so-much fresher, is incredibly versatile. We love the bright flavor it gives to fish, chicken, and vegetables. It will keep, covered and refrigerated, for a couple of weeks.