Grated citrus peel, also known as zest, adds an appealingly sharp citrus bite to dishes. Many recipes call for both the juice and zest.
In this video, Jen uses two tools, a rasp (often called a Microplane, which is a brand name) and a zester to show you how to grate the peel. The rasp gives a finer grated peel. Rasps have different sizes of grating teeth, from fine to coarse, so pick the size that suits your needs best. The zester gives thicker curlicues of grated peel.
Your recipe and your own taste preference will determine which tool is better for you. Whichever tool you use, grate just the colored part of the peel; do not grate the white part, called with pith, which is bitter.
It’s a good idea to grate the peels of citrus fruits before eating or squeezing the juice, even if you don’t have a need for it at the moment. Just store the zest in a small plastic bag in the freezer and use it in rice or vegetable dishes, cookie doughs, or for any other dishes when a bit of citrus flavor will make your dish sparkle.
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