Become a Better Cook! This Just Maika Cooking: Cook’s Notebook section will focus on everything related to using a zester connected to all my recipe posts, updated frequently.
The Original Zester
Over the past decade, this Microplane has been and still is my favorite! My replacement was once when someone came to borrow it in the kitchen and left it next to an open flame! And it scorched the metal. It worked great, but I was young and concerned about aesthetics. Go figure!
This was a professional kitchen staple. You can use it to enhance the citrus flavor and presentation of foods, from pureed soups to beautiful French custards, just like my Spicy Green Kale Lentil Soup with delicious lemon broth. It’s the original Microplane, and it’s my go-to item.
Zesting is peeling only the skin of the citrus fruit without the white flesh, referred to as pith. The skin contains aromatic oils and is an excellent addition to recipes to intensify the flavors of a dish. A fine grater is the most convenient way to obtain the zest of the citrus fruit, usually referred to as zester or a Microplane.
Video Overview: How and Why to Zest?
Other Reasons to Use a Zester
- To make ginger or garlic paste.
- Some recipes use both.
- To finely grate parmesan cheese.
- Like in risottos
- Some chefs use it to grate truffle mushrooms.
- These mushrooms are very fragrant and pricey.
- But they add a nice touch to pasta, risotto, and even fries!
- It is usually paired with truffle oil, sea salt, rosemary, or parmesan cheese.
Overview Video: Zesting (No Audio)
Plastic vs. Wood Cutting Board
I used to zest over a container, but using a Fotouzy Color Coded Flexible Plastic Cutting Board Mat is much easier. It’s easier to pick up the plastic board and pour the zest into my desired dish.