Citrus zest is one of the most under used and under appreciated food items in the home cook’s repertoire.  The zest contains a tremendous amount of essential oils and is very aromatic. A surprisingly small amount can really add a good amount of flavor to a dish.  You also get the benefit of adding the flavor of citrus without the acid that in the juice itself.  In this cooking video, I show you how to zest a lemon.  The process is really simple, and I’ve show you how to do it with a zester, a graterl, and a knife.  Hope you find it useful.

How to Zest a Lemon with a Zester (or micropane)

  • If you have a mirco plane – which is really a cheese greater with very fine holes, the job is very simple.
  • Wash and dry the lemon, and remove the sticker
  • Hold the lemon in one hand, and run the zester over the skin applying gentle pressure
  • You’re looking scrap over the very outside, yellow colored skin; getting as little of the white part (pith) as possible
  • Continue to rotate the lemon until you have the amount of zest you’d like

How to Zest a Lemon with a Grater

  • If all you have is a normal cheese grater, use the side with the finest holes
  • Each hole will take a bigger “bite” out of the lemon than the microplane, above, and we want to avoid getting the pith; so
  • Using very light pressure run the lemon up and down on the grater, rotating it quickly so you don’t dig deeply into the skin
  • Continue to grate it until you have the amount of zest you need

How to Zest a Lemon with a Knife

  • No microplane? No grater? Fine, let’s use a knife
  • The first step is to remove the outside layer of skin; again not cutting into or taking the pith
  • Hold the lemon in one hand and using the knife, slice off just the very very outside layer of skin with a sharp knife
  • Do that several times until you have several strips of lemon skin
  • Use a chef’s knife to finely chop up the strips into fine pieces

Hope you find these demo’s useful, and that use some lemon zest in one of your next recipes.  Enjoy!!

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