You can find 1000+ of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch nearly 100 of my Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. Have fun!


~ Things to Know when a Recipe calls for Citrus Zest --

IMG_1985The topic is citrus zest.  It's a common ingredient in all sorts of recipes.  In my kitchen I mostly use it in baked goods like pies, cakes, tarts, torts, puddings and custards.  That said, I use occasionally in soups, salads, sauces, many pasta, fish and/0r seafood dishes, and, of course, to garnish cocktails too.  Why?  It adds a fresh pop of citrus flavor without the tartness of the juice.  

Lemons are the most commonly zested citrus fruit, followed by limes, oranges and grapefruit. Depending on whether you need wide strips, thin chards, or fine pieces, you'll need a vegetable peeler, a citrus zester, or, a microplane grater -- it's worth mentioning that while an old-fashioned box grater can be used for any of these zesting tasks (it's what our grandmothers used), trust me, the peeler, the zester and the microplane grater do a must better job.  There's more.  When a recipe calls for both citrus zest and juice, be sure to zest the whole fruit before you juice it because it's almost impossible to zest a messy, wet piece of squeezed citrus fruit

Zesting a lemon is the same as zesting any other citrus fruit.

PICT3040 2No matter what size or shape of zest you're in need of, it's important to avoid what's called the pith.  What's the pith?  The peel of citrus fruit has two parts:  the rind and the pith.  The rind is the colorful exterior, which is where the zest comes from.  The pith is the white cotton-like substance just below the rind that clings to the fruit beneath it.  The pith is really bitter, so, when zesting with any tool, even a paring knife, do your best to avoid it.  The goal is to remove the colorful, thin outer layer while avoiding the thicker, white pith.  Once the fruit is zested, it's important to know the zest does not have a long shelf-life so, I recommend only zesting as much as you need at one time. While it can be frozen, even then it only lasts a week or two before the quality deteriorates.

1 lemon = about 1 tablespoon zest

1 lime = about 2 teaspoons zest

1 orange = about 2 tablespoons zest

1 grapefruit = about 3 tablespoons zest

Fresh is best so only zest as much as you need. 

IMG_2452"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2023)


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment