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Jul '09

Cooking With Zest: Recipes That Make the Most of Fresh Lemon, Orange, and Lime Fruit Zest

Cooking With Lemon, Orange, Lime, and Clementine  Citrus Fruit Zest

Want to easily add a bright, sophisticated flavor to your desserts, main meals, appetizers, and breakfasts? Consider cooking with zest, the grated or minced flavorful outer part of the peel of such citrus fruits as lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, blood oranges, clementines, and grapefruits.

Pomegranate-Infused Ginger Chicken With Sesame Scallion Dumplings RecipeTo do this, lightly grate the outer surface of the fruit peel just enough to release all the wonderful flavor of the aromatic oils contained in the top layer of the fruit peel. (Just take care not to grate into the white pith of the fruit itself, which is usually bitter.)

Best of all, cooking with and flavoring your meals with zest is a great way to make the most of the peels left over when you make fresh squeezed juice for such quenching beverages as lemonade, limeade, orange juice, lemon iced tea, or fruit infused flavored water as well as such savory dishes as lemon chicken and orange pork.

(You can find some refreshing and easy to make homemade fruit drink recipe ideas to help you take advantage of the joys of fresh and seasonal fruits here.)

There are many ways to remove the zest from fruit, including using a microplane, zester, a grater, or even a vegetable peeler. If I don’t have a microplane handy, I’ll either use a grater with small holes, or using a vegetable peeler, I’ll remove the zest in strips, then mince or slice it into fine shreds.

Have a large amount of leftover fruit zest that you don’t need to use right away? You can find out how to easily freeze lemon (or any other kind of zest) here.

As you can see below, lemon zest is an extremely popular and versatile ingredient in recipes that benefit from its bright but not overwhelming citrus flavor. However, in many cases, you can substitute (or combine) the zest from such fruits with edible peels as limes, oranges, tangerines, blood oranges, clementines, and grapefruit instead, so feel free to experiment.

Cooking with zest is an easy to learn, yet highly rewarding addition to your collection of culinary skills that can help you take your soups, salads, main dishes, baked goods, desserts, and even beverages to the next level.


9 Recipes From Hugging the Coast That Feature the Flavor of ZestCucumber, Apple, & Spinach Salad With Curried Pecans and Lemony Coriander Dressing
24 Recipes That Use the Flavor of Lemon Zest

Pork and Shrimp Cabbage Rolls With Butter Poached Shrimp Recipe

12 Recipes That Use the Flavor of Orange Zest

Sherry-Braised Hollywood Pork Rib Sandwiches With Raisins and Olives Recipe

8 Recipes That Use the Flavor of Lime Zest

Sesame Coconut Cod in Asian Taco Shells Recipe

5 Recipes That Use the Flavor of Clementine Zest

Food Renegade: Fight Back Fridays

Hugging the Coast Blog Fast ForwardPlease join us tomorrow to read our newest daily food feature on HuggingtheCoast.Com: Love Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese? Find Out More About Tillamook’s Mac and Cheese Recipe Contest.

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