Tag Archives: how-to use

Using lemon skin to add flavor

4 Aug


add lemon skin, also known as rind, peel or zest, to add flavor

Adding lemon taste usually means adding lemon juice. But what if you don’t want to add liquid?  You can use the skin (also called the rind, peel or zest) of the lemon – a wonderful ingredient when baking or cooking seafood or veggies. You can add lemon zest by grating it (isn’t “zest” such a lovely term?) or by cutting it in thin strips.

To grate or cut – that is the question. The answer as to which to do depends on how you want to use the lemon zest. If you want the zest to disappear into the other ingredients, then grate it. If you prefer to see it as a visible component of the finished dish, then cut it in thin strips.

How to grate lemon zest?

  • First, choose the right gadget – a grater. There are several types. The most common types are shaped like a box, a flat rectangle, a cone type, and a barrel. For lemons, the easiest one to use is a flat rectangle made of metal.
  • Then, wash the lemon with running water and dry it.
  • Now the moment of truth. Hold the grater on a plate at about a 45 degree angle and (to catch the zest) move the lemon up-and-down the grater once or twice. Don’t grate past the yellow part – the white skin underneath (the “pith”) is rather bitter. Then turn the lemon slightly to a fresh spot and repeat until you’ve got the right amount of zest.
lemon skin or rind or peel or zest grated

how to grate lemon skin or rind or zest

How to cut lemon rind?

  • The gadget – a carrot peeler.
  • Clean the lemon. (Don’t skip this unless you like eating something that has been sitting unwashed on the grocery produce counter and then rolling around unwashed in your refrigerator.)
  • Make it happen. Shave the lemon rind off the lemon in strips.

    lemon skin or rind or peel or zest shaved

    using carrot peeler, take skin/rind/peel/zest off the lemon

Take the strips and cut them as thin as you would like. Usually you want very narrow strips (1/8 of an inch perhaps) so that the taste of lemon is not overwhelming when someone eats a piece.

lemon skin/rind/ peel/zest shaved and cut

after you shave off the skin/rind/peel/zest, cut it into very narrow sticks

And did I mention how elegant and delicious dark roast coffee or expresso is with a small piece of shaved lemon and just a tad of sugar?

lemon skin/rind/peel/zest with expresso

just the way I've enjoyed expresso in NY's famed Little Italy