Learn how to zest a lemon with or without a zester so you can add a zesty punch to your favorite dishes.
A sprinkling of lemon zest can really make a meal stand out. Lemon lends brightness and just the proper amount of acidity to so many lemon dishes, from sour to sweet.
Lemon zest is what makes the greatest lemon sweets so enticing in the kitchen, offering these dishes their vital pucker. It's also essential in savory meals like lemon-roasted veggies.
But how can you replicate the intense citrus flavor? We'll show you five simple ways to zest a lemon, with or without a zester.
If you're not used to utilizing citrus in your cuisine, zest may be a novel element for you.
Zesting a lemon is simply peeling the outer peel of citrus fruit into little shavings, such as lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit. It's so strong because it's loaded with the fruit's intense natural oils. Pound for pound, the peel contains more taste than lemon juice (though juice is equally significant in many citrus-based cuisines).
Learn how to zest a lemon using a tool designed exclusively for the task. A citrus zester is used to cut thin strips of the peel off citrus fruits. Only zest the colored outermost layer and leave aside the white pith, which can be bitter.
After zesting, slice the strips into tiny bits to add to a dish. If you're going to use the strips as a garnish, leave them as is—strips of zest make fantastic accents for our favorite mocktails.
A rasp, also known as a Microplane, is our Test Kitchen's favored method for obtaining superfine lemon zest.
Simply massage a cleaned and dry lemon over the aircraft, using little pressure and twisting as you go.
Microplanes yield the finest zest, ideal for incorporating into lemon curd, custard, or any batter or dough (lemon spritz cookies, anyone?).
Without a Zester, Here's How to Zest a lemon.
Even if you don't have a citrus zester, you can acquire the lemon taste you need. Simply take out your box grater.
Gently shave the lemon zest with the tiny holes or the sharp grater teeth. To prevent collecting any of the tough white pith, flip the fruit as you go.
Unlike the zester, this approach yields little, fine bits of zest, eliminating the need for subsequent chopping.
Lemon zesting can be done with a regular vegetable peeler. Cut away the fruit's outer peel using the blade. Larger strips of zest, such as this one, are perfect for garnishing drinks, such as a martini with a twist.
Use a sharp knife to cut up the peel for finer bits of zest.