Did you know you can make a lot more than lemonade out of those lemons?
What about the lemon rind? Do you use it?
The yellow rind or zest, as it’s called in cooking, packs a powerful lemony punch. You can use a zester (pictured) to remove it in tiny little strips or a sharp vegetable peeler for larger strips.
Be sure to remove just the yellow zest. The white pith between the rind and the fleshy fruit has an unpleasant bitter taste.
I used to throw out the lemon rinds and all that flavorful zest every time I juiced a lemon. But now, whenever I need lemon juice for salad dressing or cooking, I automatically zest the lemon before I cut into it and set the zest aside in a bowl or jar. You can use it right away in your cooking or just leave it on the counter to dry out.
There are a number of ways you can use that lemon zest:
- Flavor your savory dishes.
- Add it to your baking to make lemony cookies, muffins or desserts.
- Use it to flavor your water.
- Or sugar.
- Or butter.
- Put it in your homemade cleaning products for a little extra umph.
I let it dry out in a dedicated bowl. Then I grind it into a coarse powder with a mortar and pestle (you can also use a spice grinder) and use it to make this wonderful Lemon-Pepper spice rub.
You can do the same things with limes and oranges!
A citrus zester is a must have for any kitchen. If you don’t have one, try this one.
What do YOU do with your zest? Leave me a comment!