Fresh citrus zest is one of my favorite things to add to a recipe. It brightens the flavors in baked goods and adds beautiful color to salads and meat dishes. It’s also an incredibly simple and affordable way to make dishes more vibrant, since zest contributes more concentrated citrus flavors than simply using fruit juice. Here are two easy ways to zest a lemon.
1 organic lemon, rinsed
Tip: You should use organic fruit; non-organic fruit typically has a wax outer layer that you don’t want to eat
How to Zest a Lemon with a Classic Zester
1. Gather a lemon, a shallow bowl or plate and a zester.
2. Hold the lemon firmly with your non-dominant hand. With the zester, begin at one end of the lemon. Move toward the other end, applying light pressure to zest just the top layer of the peel. Applying too much pressure will take off too much of the pith (the white layer beneath the peel), which has a strong, bitter flavor.
3. Continue zesting by starting at a fresh section of the lemon until you have enough zest for your recipe.
How to Zest a Lemon with a Microplane
1. Hold lemon firmly with your non-dominant hand above the bowl or plate. Grab the microplane with your other and hold it firmly against the lemon.
2. Move the lemon back and forth over the tiny grates of the microplane. As zest builds up, tap the microplane gently to drop the zest into the bowl.
3. Continue zesting until you have enough zest for your recipe, making sure to rotate the lemon frequently to zest fresh sections and avoid the pith.