Lemon zest brings sunshine to your soups, stews, salads, and lemon desserts! It doesn’t require costly equipment, either. Here’s how to zest a fresh lemon using (almost) everything you’ve got at home and creating the perfect twist for your favorite cocktail.
The zest of a lemon or any citrus peel can bring amazing things to your food. If you’re cooking something that requires energy but does not know precisely what, some lemon zest could save the dish from being kept in the fridge and never used again.
Good news! It doesn’t require one of the best kitchens to prepare lemon zest. There are many ways to zest a lemon without using a zester.
How to zest a Lemon by using a vegetable peeler
The method is equally straightforward. However, it will require another step.
Then, it would help if you ran the peeler vertically across the lemon, allowing it to pull away the yellow parts of its peel. There will be long slices of zest.
Before including it in the recipe, please use a knife to cut the zest finely.
I suggest applying a light stroke if you use a vegetable peeler to cut citrus into pieces. This allows you to manage the thickness at which you’re peeling the lemon to get only the thin yellow part with no white pith.
How to squeeze a lemon by using a box Grater
The cheese grates (or box grates) are a great kitchen appliance for zest and lemons.
Use the box grater to cover an empty bowl with just one hand. Use your hand for the “fine” side (or the small grate). Place the lemon into your second hand.
Remove the lemon by dragging it along the grate to eliminate the zest.
The lemon should be rotated by hand after every stroke. Continue until the entire lemon has been zested.
Similar to the other methods of zesting that we have discussed, be sure to remove the yellow portion of the zest. The white layer (the pith) contains a bitter taste that isn’t something you want to put to be a part of your dishes.
How to squeeze a lemon using the Microplane
A rasp, also known by its name brand Microplane Our Test Kitchen’s most popular method for making incredible lemon zest.
When ready to use it, apply a dried and washed lemon across the plane, applying light pressure and turning while you work. Microplane creates the best flavor possible, perfect for mixing into the custard, lemon curd, or other dough or batter (lemon spritz cookies, perhaps? ).
Use a julienne peeler
Julienne peelers are also employed to squeeze lemons. The tools are like a traditional vegetable peeler; instead of cutting away large chunks of fruit’s rind, they peel off the fruit’s skin into segments.
How to Zest a Lemon With a Knife
How do you make pie fillings or even a cocktail? The sharp knife of a chef is the most efficient method of making zest without using fancy tools. Keep the lemon tightly with just one hand, using a cutting table, and place a knife into the dominant hand. Beginning at the highest point of the fruit, cut through the skin. Then, gradually remove the peel into pieces, working through the lemon using the knife. Keep an eye out for the pith; splitting inside the lemon is challenging. Once the lemon has been fully peeled, you can slice or cut pieces of the peel to the size you prefer.
Recipes based on lemon zest
The lemon zest gives a refreshing zing to any dish. However, there are no alternatives! The only way to get it is the authentic thing. Here are some lemon recipes that use it:
- Lemon Blueberry Bread
- Lemon Tahini Dressing
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Lemon Vinaigrette
- Lemon Sorbet
- Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Lemon Ricotta Pancakes