Last week I made a Shrimp Lemon Pepper Linguini from a recipe on Allrecipes.com and along with the fresh squeezed lemon juice, the recipe called for “1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest”. The first time I ran into this was with a risotto recipe a few weeks ago and I had to Google it since I literally had no idea what zesting a lemon was. Those of you who have been cooking for years may take this knowledge for granted but if it was new to me I figure there may be other people (especially fellow take-out techies) who’d probably need to look it up.
So here it is… your simple answer.. Zest = grated lemon rind
Essentially you use a small plane, small grater, or worst case a large cheese grater to grate just the yellow part of the lemon skin. You don’t want the white part underneath the outer layer of yellow so you will need to keep turning the lemon to hit all of the outside skin for the best zest.
Another tip I found, if the recipe calls for juicing the lemon also, make sure you zest it first. Once you juice it, the lemon will not be firm enough to make zesting an easy task. So zest the lemon while it’s still whole, then cut it in half and juice it.
We have a small grater that I believe is for parmesan that seems to work well for the lemon zest.
Oh yeah, the Shrimp Lemon Pepper Fettucini was great also!