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How to Zest Citrus Fruit

Whole and sliced limes with grater

Tips, video and photography provided by Heinen’s partner, Chef Billy Parisi.

When citrus season hits its peak, it’s important to not only take advantage of the juicy inner fruit, but the vibrant, aromatic zest too!

Make the most of your citrus with these three simple methods for zesting.

How to Zest with a Microplane

While holding the Microplane, rock the fruit back and forth over the grater to finely zest.

How to Zest with a Microplaner

How to Zest with a Hand Zester

Press a hand zester down into the citrus and move in a circular motion as if you are peeling a lemon.

How to Zest with a Hand Zester

How to Zest with a Knife

1. Hold a paring knife in one hand and the citrus in the other. Cut a tiny bit at a time, pulling the peel back towards yourself. Do not cut too deep. You do not want to cut into the citrus itself.

2. Switch to a chef’s knife to finely julienne the peel by rocking the knife back and forth. Tuck your fingers on the other side to keep them safe.

How to Zest with a Paring Knife

Helpful Tips

  • Room temperature citrus will yield the most juice.
  • Always zest citrus fruit before squeezing the juice.
  • A lime will yield 1-2 Tbsp. of juice and 1-2 Tbsp. of zest.
  • A lemon will yield 3-4 Tbsp. of juice and about 1 Tbsp. of zest.
  • An orange will yield 1/3 – 1/2 cup of juice and 1 1/2 Tbsp. of zest.
Chef Billy Parisi headshot
By Chef Billy Parisi
Chef Billy Parisi is a culinary school grad who spent 15 years in the restaurant industry as a line cook, sous chef and executive chef. Now he develops, photographs and films simple and delicious recipes that will make everyone feel like a chef in their own kitchen.

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