After you juice a grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange or other citrus, do you throw it away?
If so, you’re tossing out a delicious ingredient: the zest.
Zest is the outermost part of the rind/peel/skin. Before you juice the citrus, remove the zest for use in other recipes. Scraping or cutting it from the skin is known as zesting.
Zesting a lime. Zest got its name from the “zestiness” it adds to food. Photo by Villy Fink Isaksen Wikimedia.
HOW TO ZEST
Be sure to wash and dry the fruit well before zesting. If you can, buy organic or unwaxed citrus.
While some people use a paring knife, it’s much easier to use a zester (which creates julienne strips) or a zester grater like a Microplane, or the fine side of a box grater.
First decide how you’re going to use your zest: grated or strips. If the zest will be used for flavor and then removed (marinades, steeping in tea) it doesn’t make a difference. For garnish/eye appeal, use a regular zester. To dissolve into recipes (vinaigrette, sorbet) use a zester grater. We love our Cuisipro box grater.
If you’re going to buy a zester, get a combination zester-stripper, which also creates strips of peel for cocktails or garnish.
What are your favorite uses for lemon zest?
Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.