How to Zest A Lemon (or any citrus!)

How to Zest A Lemon, Orange, or Lime!

Be honest – if a recipe calls for lemon zest, how do you do it? Knowing how to zest a lemon seems more complicated than it really is but it will enhance your recipe ten fold! Using my simple trick you can zest a lemon, orange, or lime for your next recipe and it will be a piece of cake! Actually, zest on a cake sounds delicious!

My favorite recipe that calls for zest is my famous blueberry bake!

What is lemon zest?

Lemon zest is small pieces of yellow rind of the lemon. It is meant to give a slight lemon aroma to dishes without the tartness of the lemon itself. This is not to be confused with the pith which is the white part beneath the rind. The pith is very bitter and does not taste good! Avoid putting pith in your recipes if only zest is called for.

How is lemon zest used?

In order to know how to zest a lemon, orange or lime correctly, it is important to consider what it’s for so you can create your desired shape. Once that is settled, you can move on to the next step.

How to zest any citrus!

In the kitchen, the correct tools are everything! The best way to zest a lemon, orange or lime is with a microplane grater – also called a zester! You can find these on Amazon or any store with kitchen utensils. This is the most simple way to add zest to your recipes! If you don’t have a grater, you can also use a paring knife or vegetable peeler.

Amazon Microplane Grater

 

Zesting a lemon with a microplane grater:

  1. Hold the lemon in one hand and the grater in the other.
  2. Add a bowl or tray beneath the grater to catch the zest that will fall from the lemon.
  3. Place the grater on the lemon moving it back and forth. The zest will fall from the grater to the bowl.
  4. Make sure to move around the lemon to avoid zesting the pith.
  5. Finally, add the zest into your recipe!

If you are zesting a lemon with a knife, it takes a bit more time and precision.

No grater? No problem! How to zest a lemon with a knife:

  1. Cut the ends off of the lemon
  2. Lay the lemon on one of the open sides and using a paring knife, slice one side of the rind as thin as you can, avoiding the pith as much as possible. If you do cut into the pith, do your best to remove it by shaving it down with the knife.
  3. Cut the rind into julienne cuts
  4. Chop the julienne cuts into tiny pieces until it is appears as if it was grated. This will take a few minutes!
  5. Finally, add the zest into your recipe!

Zesting a lemon with a vegetable grater.

  1. Hold the lemon in one hand and the peeler in the other.
  2. Place the peeler on the lemon and cut away from you.  Cut a piece of rind off of the lemon.
  3. Cut the rind into julienne cuts
  4. Chop the julienne cuts into tiny pieces until it is appears as if it was grated. This will take a few minutes!
  5. Finally, add the zest into your recipe!


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