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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Zesting Lemons

It arrived. My much anticipated Microplane, or more commonly referred to as a "zester". I have always wanted one, and they are not expensive, but I just never got around to getting one, until recently, I broke down and ordered it from amazon. I have saved in the refrigerator the last weeks's worth of lemons that I juiced, and also had a bag of lemons uncut to zest. So, today I went from novice zester to expert, and I am going to share zesting tips with you so that hopefully, you can avoid the pitfalls that I fell into, head first! I found out a Microplane is a dangerous thing, and fully understand why they make Microplane  Kitchen Cut-Protection Glove.
The microplane is one-directional, sharp going away from the handle, and not sharp coming towards the handle for cleaning it.

Tip #1: Zest the whole bag of lemons when you get home from the market, and freeze the zest for all of those recipes you are now going to try!

Tip # 2: Zest whole lemons. I started with my cut lemons that had been juiced, and that is very tricky, and the most dangerous way to zest! The firmness of an uncut lemon is much easier, and safer, to zest.

Tip # 3:   If you use the microplane in your dominant hand like a potato peeler, this is what your other hand will soon look like mine :

Tip # 4: I found the easiest and safest way to use the microplane, was to lay the microplane across my bowl stabilized by my non-dominant hand, and take the lemon in my dominant hand and slide across the microplane.This way, the lemon does the work, it is easier to control the movement of the lemon than the microplane, and it keeps your fingers and knuckles clear of the tiny sharp blades.

Tip # 5: Only remove the yellow part of the lemon skin. The lemons can be stored 'naked' until needed.

Tip #6: Buy organic lemons for zesting, most of the pesticides are stored in the skin. 

Tip #7: Store the microplane with it's protective cover, that thing is super sharp, and you don't want to bump into it when you are in the drawer reaching for another utensil!

The zest can be placed in a ziploc bag or glass container and kept in the freezer for future use.  Now,  you are prepared to zest your lemons and limes! Have fun, and may your hands be spared!

The extra nice bonus is, after zesting all of my lemons, my whole house smells incredible! Not that fake lemony smell you get from sprays and such, but the most subtle, clean and fresh aroma that lingers, and makes your home feel like sunshine =)


  1. Hey, thanks for the tips! How much was the microplane? And it's difficult to see in the picture- what exactly did your hand look like after? Having your house smell like sunshine sounds lovely ^_^

  2. I found a pretty good deal on amazon, click on the highlighted word 'microplane' above to see it, there are other colors, too =) My first finger got scraped up quite a bit, and it is even more red and sore today, lol! Moral of the story, don't zest yourself!!

  3. You might be eligible for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.


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~ Shelley