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Best Tips for Zesting From Sarabeth’s Kitchen

Best Tips for Zesting From Sarabeth’s Kitchen



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Know these zesting tips to get the most powerful flavors out of your citrus of choice

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Best Tips for Zesting

Have you ever taken a bite of a lemon cheesecake and wondered how those bright and powerful flavors got there? If you’re familiar with baking, you’ll know that the measurements of wet and dry ingredients are calculated to an exact science, and that an extra squeeze of lemon juice here or there will not only water down your pastry masterpiece, but will change the entire equation and lead to poor results. So how does the flavor of lemon get in there? The secret to getting these flavors in your baking, whether it be lemon or any other citrus flavor, is zesting, explains Sarabeth from Sarabeth’s Kitchen in New York City.

The best way to think about zest is that it's the oil that holds the strongest and most concentrated flavors of the fruit. For the most favorable results with zesting, it’s best to use a zester that has small, sharp holes. This allows you to zest the outer surface efficiently without taking any of the white, bitter pith of the fruit with it. If the recipe calls for zest and juice, make sure to zest first, for a squeezed lemon is a lot more difficult to properly zest that a whole, firm one.

Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce


Test Kitchen tips: Zesting citrus

When a recipe calls for zest, it's referring to the outermost layer of a citrus fruit -- that colored part of the skin that gives oranges, lemons and limes their vibrant colors. It's the zest that contains those rich, fragrant oils that give so much flavor to a dish or recipe.

There are many ways to zest a fruit, whether using a citrus zester (pictured above), a grater, a microplane or rasp, vegetable peeler or even a good old-fashioned paring knife.  Simple as it may be, there are still some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you remove only the outermost layer of colored zest, leaving the white pith behind. The pith is bitter, and that bitterness can overpower the flavor of the zest, affecting the final recipe.
  • Zest your citrus first, before juicing or using any other part of the fruit in a recipe. It's easier -- zesting a juiced fruit is like trying to zest a flat tire.
  • Choose your method of zesting based on how the zest will be used in a recipe. If the zest is strictly for flavor, I prefer a rasp or grater -- I find the blades don't cut quite as "clean" as a zester or knife, slightly bruising the zest as it's removed to release more oils for flavor. If I'm using the zest as a garnish (candying it to top a cake, or using it to complete a cocktail), a zester, peeler or knife work best. A zester will give you nice, consistent strips of zest.  A peeler or knife enable you to remove large pieces of zest, which you can cut or chop to use as desired.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]

Photo credits, from top: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times Iris Schneider / Los Angeles Times


Test Kitchen tips: Zesting citrus

When a recipe calls for zest, it's referring to the outermost layer of a citrus fruit -- that colored part of the skin that gives oranges, lemons and limes their vibrant colors. It's the zest that contains those rich, fragrant oils that give so much flavor to a dish or recipe.

There are many ways to zest a fruit, whether using a citrus zester (pictured above), a grater, a microplane or rasp, vegetable peeler or even a good old-fashioned paring knife.  Simple as it may be, there are still some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you remove only the outermost layer of colored zest, leaving the white pith behind. The pith is bitter, and that bitterness can overpower the flavor of the zest, affecting the final recipe.
  • Zest your citrus first, before juicing or using any other part of the fruit in a recipe. It's easier -- zesting a juiced fruit is like trying to zest a flat tire.
  • Choose your method of zesting based on how the zest will be used in a recipe. If the zest is strictly for flavor, I prefer a rasp or grater -- I find the blades don't cut quite as "clean" as a zester or knife, slightly bruising the zest as it's removed to release more oils for flavor. If I'm using the zest as a garnish (candying it to top a cake, or using it to complete a cocktail), a zester, peeler or knife work best. A zester will give you nice, consistent strips of zest.  A peeler or knife enable you to remove large pieces of zest, which you can cut or chop to use as desired.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]

Photo credits, from top: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times Iris Schneider / Los Angeles Times


Test Kitchen tips: Zesting citrus

When a recipe calls for zest, it's referring to the outermost layer of a citrus fruit -- that colored part of the skin that gives oranges, lemons and limes their vibrant colors. It's the zest that contains those rich, fragrant oils that give so much flavor to a dish or recipe.

There are many ways to zest a fruit, whether using a citrus zester (pictured above), a grater, a microplane or rasp, vegetable peeler or even a good old-fashioned paring knife.  Simple as it may be, there are still some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you remove only the outermost layer of colored zest, leaving the white pith behind. The pith is bitter, and that bitterness can overpower the flavor of the zest, affecting the final recipe.
  • Zest your citrus first, before juicing or using any other part of the fruit in a recipe. It's easier -- zesting a juiced fruit is like trying to zest a flat tire.
  • Choose your method of zesting based on how the zest will be used in a recipe. If the zest is strictly for flavor, I prefer a rasp or grater -- I find the blades don't cut quite as "clean" as a zester or knife, slightly bruising the zest as it's removed to release more oils for flavor. If I'm using the zest as a garnish (candying it to top a cake, or using it to complete a cocktail), a zester, peeler or knife work best. A zester will give you nice, consistent strips of zest.  A peeler or knife enable you to remove large pieces of zest, which you can cut or chop to use as desired.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]

Photo credits, from top: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times Iris Schneider / Los Angeles Times


Test Kitchen tips: Zesting citrus

When a recipe calls for zest, it's referring to the outermost layer of a citrus fruit -- that colored part of the skin that gives oranges, lemons and limes their vibrant colors. It's the zest that contains those rich, fragrant oils that give so much flavor to a dish or recipe.

There are many ways to zest a fruit, whether using a citrus zester (pictured above), a grater, a microplane or rasp, vegetable peeler or even a good old-fashioned paring knife.  Simple as it may be, there are still some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you remove only the outermost layer of colored zest, leaving the white pith behind. The pith is bitter, and that bitterness can overpower the flavor of the zest, affecting the final recipe.
  • Zest your citrus first, before juicing or using any other part of the fruit in a recipe. It's easier -- zesting a juiced fruit is like trying to zest a flat tire.
  • Choose your method of zesting based on how the zest will be used in a recipe. If the zest is strictly for flavor, I prefer a rasp or grater -- I find the blades don't cut quite as "clean" as a zester or knife, slightly bruising the zest as it's removed to release more oils for flavor. If I'm using the zest as a garnish (candying it to top a cake, or using it to complete a cocktail), a zester, peeler or knife work best. A zester will give you nice, consistent strips of zest.  A peeler or knife enable you to remove large pieces of zest, which you can cut or chop to use as desired.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]

Photo credits, from top: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times Iris Schneider / Los Angeles Times


Test Kitchen tips: Zesting citrus

When a recipe calls for zest, it's referring to the outermost layer of a citrus fruit -- that colored part of the skin that gives oranges, lemons and limes their vibrant colors. It's the zest that contains those rich, fragrant oils that give so much flavor to a dish or recipe.

There are many ways to zest a fruit, whether using a citrus zester (pictured above), a grater, a microplane or rasp, vegetable peeler or even a good old-fashioned paring knife.  Simple as it may be, there are still some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you remove only the outermost layer of colored zest, leaving the white pith behind. The pith is bitter, and that bitterness can overpower the flavor of the zest, affecting the final recipe.
  • Zest your citrus first, before juicing or using any other part of the fruit in a recipe. It's easier -- zesting a juiced fruit is like trying to zest a flat tire.
  • Choose your method of zesting based on how the zest will be used in a recipe. If the zest is strictly for flavor, I prefer a rasp or grater -- I find the blades don't cut quite as "clean" as a zester or knife, slightly bruising the zest as it's removed to release more oils for flavor. If I'm using the zest as a garnish (candying it to top a cake, or using it to complete a cocktail), a zester, peeler or knife work best. A zester will give you nice, consistent strips of zest.  A peeler or knife enable you to remove large pieces of zest, which you can cut or chop to use as desired.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]

Photo credits, from top: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times Iris Schneider / Los Angeles Times


Test Kitchen tips: Zesting citrus

When a recipe calls for zest, it's referring to the outermost layer of a citrus fruit -- that colored part of the skin that gives oranges, lemons and limes their vibrant colors. It's the zest that contains those rich, fragrant oils that give so much flavor to a dish or recipe.

There are many ways to zest a fruit, whether using a citrus zester (pictured above), a grater, a microplane or rasp, vegetable peeler or even a good old-fashioned paring knife.  Simple as it may be, there are still some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you remove only the outermost layer of colored zest, leaving the white pith behind. The pith is bitter, and that bitterness can overpower the flavor of the zest, affecting the final recipe.
  • Zest your citrus first, before juicing or using any other part of the fruit in a recipe. It's easier -- zesting a juiced fruit is like trying to zest a flat tire.
  • Choose your method of zesting based on how the zest will be used in a recipe. If the zest is strictly for flavor, I prefer a rasp or grater -- I find the blades don't cut quite as "clean" as a zester or knife, slightly bruising the zest as it's removed to release more oils for flavor. If I'm using the zest as a garnish (candying it to top a cake, or using it to complete a cocktail), a zester, peeler or knife work best. A zester will give you nice, consistent strips of zest.  A peeler or knife enable you to remove large pieces of zest, which you can cut or chop to use as desired.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]

Photo credits, from top: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times Iris Schneider / Los Angeles Times


Test Kitchen tips: Zesting citrus

When a recipe calls for zest, it's referring to the outermost layer of a citrus fruit -- that colored part of the skin that gives oranges, lemons and limes their vibrant colors. It's the zest that contains those rich, fragrant oils that give so much flavor to a dish or recipe.

There are many ways to zest a fruit, whether using a citrus zester (pictured above), a grater, a microplane or rasp, vegetable peeler or even a good old-fashioned paring knife.  Simple as it may be, there are still some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you remove only the outermost layer of colored zest, leaving the white pith behind. The pith is bitter, and that bitterness can overpower the flavor of the zest, affecting the final recipe.
  • Zest your citrus first, before juicing or using any other part of the fruit in a recipe. It's easier -- zesting a juiced fruit is like trying to zest a flat tire.
  • Choose your method of zesting based on how the zest will be used in a recipe. If the zest is strictly for flavor, I prefer a rasp or grater -- I find the blades don't cut quite as "clean" as a zester or knife, slightly bruising the zest as it's removed to release more oils for flavor. If I'm using the zest as a garnish (candying it to top a cake, or using it to complete a cocktail), a zester, peeler or knife work best. A zester will give you nice, consistent strips of zest.  A peeler or knife enable you to remove large pieces of zest, which you can cut or chop to use as desired.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]

Photo credits, from top: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times Iris Schneider / Los Angeles Times


Test Kitchen tips: Zesting citrus

When a recipe calls for zest, it's referring to the outermost layer of a citrus fruit -- that colored part of the skin that gives oranges, lemons and limes their vibrant colors. It's the zest that contains those rich, fragrant oils that give so much flavor to a dish or recipe.

There are many ways to zest a fruit, whether using a citrus zester (pictured above), a grater, a microplane or rasp, vegetable peeler or even a good old-fashioned paring knife.  Simple as it may be, there are still some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you remove only the outermost layer of colored zest, leaving the white pith behind. The pith is bitter, and that bitterness can overpower the flavor of the zest, affecting the final recipe.
  • Zest your citrus first, before juicing or using any other part of the fruit in a recipe. It's easier -- zesting a juiced fruit is like trying to zest a flat tire.
  • Choose your method of zesting based on how the zest will be used in a recipe. If the zest is strictly for flavor, I prefer a rasp or grater -- I find the blades don't cut quite as "clean" as a zester or knife, slightly bruising the zest as it's removed to release more oils for flavor. If I'm using the zest as a garnish (candying it to top a cake, or using it to complete a cocktail), a zester, peeler or knife work best. A zester will give you nice, consistent strips of zest.  A peeler or knife enable you to remove large pieces of zest, which you can cut or chop to use as desired.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]

Photo credits, from top: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times Iris Schneider / Los Angeles Times


Test Kitchen tips: Zesting citrus

When a recipe calls for zest, it's referring to the outermost layer of a citrus fruit -- that colored part of the skin that gives oranges, lemons and limes their vibrant colors. It's the zest that contains those rich, fragrant oils that give so much flavor to a dish or recipe.

There are many ways to zest a fruit, whether using a citrus zester (pictured above), a grater, a microplane or rasp, vegetable peeler or even a good old-fashioned paring knife.  Simple as it may be, there are still some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you remove only the outermost layer of colored zest, leaving the white pith behind. The pith is bitter, and that bitterness can overpower the flavor of the zest, affecting the final recipe.
  • Zest your citrus first, before juicing or using any other part of the fruit in a recipe. It's easier -- zesting a juiced fruit is like trying to zest a flat tire.
  • Choose your method of zesting based on how the zest will be used in a recipe. If the zest is strictly for flavor, I prefer a rasp or grater -- I find the blades don't cut quite as "clean" as a zester or knife, slightly bruising the zest as it's removed to release more oils for flavor. If I'm using the zest as a garnish (candying it to top a cake, or using it to complete a cocktail), a zester, peeler or knife work best. A zester will give you nice, consistent strips of zest.  A peeler or knife enable you to remove large pieces of zest, which you can cut or chop to use as desired.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]

Photo credits, from top: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times Iris Schneider / Los Angeles Times


Test Kitchen tips: Zesting citrus

When a recipe calls for zest, it's referring to the outermost layer of a citrus fruit -- that colored part of the skin that gives oranges, lemons and limes their vibrant colors. It's the zest that contains those rich, fragrant oils that give so much flavor to a dish or recipe.

There are many ways to zest a fruit, whether using a citrus zester (pictured above), a grater, a microplane or rasp, vegetable peeler or even a good old-fashioned paring knife.  Simple as it may be, there are still some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you remove only the outermost layer of colored zest, leaving the white pith behind. The pith is bitter, and that bitterness can overpower the flavor of the zest, affecting the final recipe.
  • Zest your citrus first, before juicing or using any other part of the fruit in a recipe. It's easier -- zesting a juiced fruit is like trying to zest a flat tire.
  • Choose your method of zesting based on how the zest will be used in a recipe. If the zest is strictly for flavor, I prefer a rasp or grater -- I find the blades don't cut quite as "clean" as a zester or knife, slightly bruising the zest as it's removed to release more oils for flavor. If I'm using the zest as a garnish (candying it to top a cake, or using it to complete a cocktail), a zester, peeler or knife work best. A zester will give you nice, consistent strips of zest.  A peeler or knife enable you to remove large pieces of zest, which you can cut or chop to use as desired.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]

Photo credits, from top: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times Iris Schneider / Los Angeles Times


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