Getting Zesty with a Brightly Colored Microplane

Happy Modern Family Day!

To celebrate I have a little review and a GIVEAWAY for you guys.


If you’ve been to a store with kitchen supplies like Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table you’ve probably seen a Microplane zester. Who knows, perhaps you’ve even tested it out on a lemon at the store like I had.


I’ve had my eye on this nifty zester for a while so when Microplane emailed me about receiving one of their new, brightly colored zester/graters to try out, I happily accepted. They’re not super expensive so I don’t know why I never purchased one before. I’m not sure, but the stars aligned and now I have one. πŸ™‚

Lemon Zest

The zester I was sent is the turquoise premium classic hand-held zester/grater. The other new colors are hot pink and purple but the turquoise spoke to me. It doesn’t really match my kitchen, but it’s a fun color and like it!

The handle is soft, comfortable and there are non-slip rubber feet at the end of the blade to add stability when grating vertically on a cutting board, counter, inside a plate, or bowl. I also like that it’s long enough to lay nicely on top of a bowl for easy grating. The stainless steel blades are extremely sharp so I was happy to see that it comes with a slip-on cover to put on it when not in use. <– Wouldn’t want to put my hand in the kitchen gadget drawer with a blade like that sticking out.

This little tool is ideal for quickly and easily creating zest from different types of citrus peel without lifting off the fruit’s bitter-tasting pith. I tried it with a lemon and was very impressed with how well it worked. It shredded tiny, uniform pieces of the peel faster and with less pressure than my regular grater. The best part is that it’s not just for zesting! It also can be used to create fine shreds of fresh ginger, garlic, coconut, hard cheeses like Parmesan or even chocolate! I’m all about having multipurpose tools in the kitchen to save space so I’m excited to add this one to my collection.

And in case you are wondering what exactly citrus zest is used for – it’s often called for in recipes to add a boost of flavor. When used in cooking, zest refers to the outermost colored layer of citrus peel (not the white pith). Here are a few recipes that have been featured on EBF that call for lemon or orange zest: Carrot Cake Cookies, Overnight Oats and Sweet Brown Bread.

turquoise.jpg purple.jpg pink.jpg

The real news is that Microplane is also offering to giveaway one brightly colored Classic hand-held zester/grated to a lucky EBF reader. Woo-hoo! Simply leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite recipe that involves citrus zest or why you’d like to win the zester. The giveaway will end Friday (9/30/2011) at 11:59 PM and the winner will get to choose which color Microplane they wish to receive – turquoise, purple or pink. Good luck!

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  1. I just made a recipe last night that called for lemon zest. I don’t have a lemon zester specifically, so improvised with my grater using the smallest holes. I worked OK, but took some effort, was hard to get the zest off the grater without making a mess, and got down into the bitter part of the lemon. Could sure use a real zester. Anyway, the recipe is Lemon Shrimp over Whole Wheat Pasta. Yum!

  2. I’ve been eating a lot of overnight oats lately and I love putting lemon zest in them. I also zest citrus in my glass of sparkling water to add some zip. Would LOVE the purple one!

  3. Orange zest in cranberry bread is the PERFECT touch to a fall classic. Plus….my knuckles are begging for one because I used the cheese grater last time & I slipped:/

  4. I love bran muffins with orange zest! Yum! Plus I’m going to be making a lemon-orange citrus cake for my daughter’s upcoming 4th birthday which is going to require some seriou zesting!

  5. I have a dip that I make for fruit or Madeira cake that needs the zest of an orange and lemon. Very cool looking tool there, I want one in my utensil drawer now πŸ™‚

  6. I would use my brand new zester on a new recipe I’m trying out tonight at a bonfire. A pear crisp that I’m modifying to make sugar free and roasting it in tin foil rather than baking it. I’d love to add a little zest along with the lemon juice I plan to use.

    Thanks for the chance! =) I love your blog!!

  7. I love lemon-flavored pasta so this zester would be great for that. I’m also wondering if it would work to flavor a martini. Perhaps I should try that…. πŸ™‚

  8. I would LOVE one of these. Been wanting one for a long time. Zesting citrus adds a punch of flavor and zesting garlic makes adding flavor easy!

  9. I love using lemon zest with asparagus and goat cheese pasta. I’ve tried a variation of the recipe using asparagus, goat cheese, tomatoes, and lemon juice, but you really have to have lemon zest to get that little zing that makes all the difference in the flavor of the dish.

  10. It’s really hard work trying to be a gourmand AND a broke college student. I don’t have a zester at all, instead I’ve been using some clever/dangerous knife-scraping in all the recipes that call for citrus zest!

  11. First of all I just want to say your blog is lovely and how sweet it is to share this giveaway with us. Secondly, I’d like to win because I’m actually just starting to stock my kitchen; apparently life post college degree requires more than a microwave and an assortment of pots and pans lovingly “borrowed” from your parents :).

  12. Actually I like to put zest in ice trays cover them with water and freeze. Then I have them when ever I want some essence in my watee.

  13. I’m not really sure what I would make that would call for using a microplane (I’ve never owned one!)..but I’d love to explore some new recipes =)

  14. I would love to have my own pretty microplane so I don’t have to fight with my husband about who gets to use it first when we’re both in the kitchen!

  15. I love Jenna @ Eat, Live, Run’s 30 minute lemon brown sugar recipe! It is simple yet so delicious! The lemon and brown sugar combine to creat such an amazing flavor! I always have a hard time finding a good hand-held zester/grater too, so this is a great giveaway!

  16. I use lemon zest in sooo many recipes, but I’m currently using a cheese grater to zest. It’s a pain! I would love love love an actual zester.

  17. I’ve been using a cheap zester I got at the dollar store! It just barely does the job, so I’d love to have one that works better. I use citrus zest in soooo many things, chicken dishes, marinades, baked goods, etc.

  18. I love zesting lemons for a lime-lemon pound cake that I’ve made and it tasted so delicious! If I am the lucky winner, I’d like a pink microplane please:)

  19. I have the same zester, ‘cept with a fun orange handle and I LOVE IT. And I agree, the protective sleeve is a great feature, haha.

  20. I love using citrus zest in easy, homemade dressings. Adding some lemon and orange zest to a little olive oil, fresh orange juice and Italian spices really brightens up your greens!

  21. My favorite recipe using citrus zest is Meyer Lemon Curd. You can use regular lemons but the sweet Meyer lemons impart the best lip-smacking tart flavor. I’m craving it now! Yum!

  22. My favorite recipe that uses citrus zest are my blueberry scones. I make a glaze that goes on top which is made of confectioners sugar, lemon juice and zest. adds such a great flavor to the blueberries!

  23. My favorite recipe is a quinoa salad with lemon zest! I make a lemon dressing with olive oil and add lemon zest to it! WOW! SO good!! I add cranberries, peppers, cilantro and apples to the quinoa.

  24. Hi!

    My favorite recipe that uses citrus zest are my banana muffins!! SO moist, sweet and delicious and the lemon zest adds such a fresh and pleasant flavor!! πŸ™‚

  25. Oh, I’ve been needing one of these for a while for all the ginger I use! I chop it, but that always mean big fat chunks of ginger ending making it in to my marinates and dressings. I don’t mind but my husband isn’t a fan…

  26. Grated over baked fish! Yum. …after reading all these comments, I’m definitely hungry for a zester and some tasty treats! πŸ™‚

  27. I use citrus zest to add flavor to a variety of things given that I am allergic to msg and many spice blends contain that. I am also a celiac who loves muffins. I love to add orange or lemon zest to raspberry or strawberry muffins that I make using gluten free flour. It adds a little something extra and can often distract from some gluten free flours bean-y flavors. The current zester I use is an ancient hand me down πŸ™ and I am a poor college student.

  28. I recently moved out on my own and am SO very new to the world cooking and baking – a zester would be the fanciest tool in my kitchen!

  29. My favorite recipe that calls for lemon zest is chickpea cutlets! Mmm. I’d like to win because I don’t have a microplane and when I try to improvise with a veggie peeler, my results are pretty undesirable!

  30. I used my zester most recently for making carrot cake breakfast cookies. I think I used about twice the orange zest the recipe called for. Yum.

  31. I would love a zester since zesting with a box grater does not work as well as I’d like it to me. I just made delicious corn muffins with blueberries which called for lemon zest to brighten them – delicious!

  32. I put lemon / lime zest on cakes (i love lemoncello cake), in lemon garlic white wine pasta, and in Ceviche. They always say never waste your food =) But I don’t have a zester, I use a peeler to “zest” lol.

  33. I make a delicious lemon pound cake with zest but i haven’t made it in ages since i don’t have a microplane or even a grater:( I love the turquoise! it will match all of my blue and green pots and pans:)

  34. That looks so awesome. There are so many recipes I put to the wayside because it calls for zesting! I’m really not lazy I just need one of those!

  35. I would love to win the zester because I have never used one! I have a recipe for Lemon Chicken that I think would be even more awesome if I could zest some lemon in it. Alas, I have no zester πŸ™‚

  36. I love making Ricotta Citrus cookies! The zest and juice is in both the cookie and glaze topping, and you can use a variety of fruits- oranges, limes or lemons. They are delicious!

  37. I’ve been wanting one of these for a long time! I love zest in my pound cake (GF, of course) and just this week, I fixed sauteed shrimp and spinach for dinner, which called for lemon zest.

  38. I love to make a chocolate zucchini cake that calls for orange zest in both the cake and the topping – the zest adds such a nice pop, especially in contrast with the dark chocolate!

  39. I’d love to zest some lemons, lime’s and oranges. I don’t have a microplane, so if a recipe calls for it, I usually skip it. Would love to be able to actually use the zest !!

  40. Yayyy! I’ve had my eye on a zester for some time now! I would use it for tons of different recipes.. Citrus zests are great in baked goods as well as pasta dishes! Yum!!

  41. my favorite recipe calling for zest is an old cookie recipe I’ve been making for YEARS: Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies. THEY ARE SO GOOD. The orange in the cookies give them such a great kick of fresh citrus. YUMMMMMMMM!

  42. Yes!! I have one of these and I LOVE it… so I’m not here to enter the giveaway, just to vouch for the microplane’s awesomeness. I use it for everything… zesting, grating parmasean over my pasta, grating ginger and tumeric roots… like everything. You definitely want to own one of these.

  43. i am obsessed with my mom’s microplane! i have a thai coconut curry recipe that uses lime zest, but i think my favorite use of the gadget is for grated cheese on a dish. it makes the thinnest little spirals so you don’t need a ton of cheese for great flavor. πŸ™‚

  44. I have a simple lemon shrimp pasta that I love to make that calls for tons of lemon zest that adds more flavor than just lemon juice ever could! It’s my favorite pasta dish . It’s funny because when I first tried to zest the lemons I used a cheese grated lol it worked but I had a hard time gettingthe zest out πŸ™‚

  45. Is this only open to US residents?
    I assume it is, in which case boo to that πŸ™ , but just in case it isn’t :), I make a lovely orange, almond and semolina cake which calls for the zest of 2 oranges (plus 2 more for the syrup) and its delicious! I love using zest esp in baking – its gives such a good punch of flavour!

  46. I usually skip the zest in recipes too just because I’ve never had one. I have a tabouli recipe that I make a lot that calls for it…would love to see how much it adds to an already yummy recipe!

  47. i love to use citrus in an everyday panty pasta recipe i make all the time when i don’t feel like cooking – lemon zest, jalapeno peppers, peas and parm. super easy and yummy!

  48. I love making lemon ricotta cookies for parties and for giving as gifts, and well, I like eating them, too πŸ™‚ There is zest in both the batter and the glaze, so a zester would come in handy for sure. I’d also use it to grate fresh nutmeg.

  49. I have a recipe for a lemon blueberry pound cake that my whole family loves. It’s always a go to recipe in the summer when blueberries are fresh and plentiful.

  50. the turquoise zester is absolutely beautiful! my favorite way to use a zester is by shaving some orange on top of my flourless chocolate cake right out of the oven – totally gives it this extra depth of amazing flavor.

  51. Those are some pretty awesome zesters! My favorite use of a zester…is garlic! haha. I learned that trick from Rachel Ray. It gives great flavor and it easy and less messy than chopping. But citrus wise, I tried this great recipe for lime, soy sauce and ginger marinated shrimp tacos. Delicious!!

  52. I can’t tell you how many recipes I’ve made where I’ve just skipped the “zest” part because I didn’t have a zester. This would be amazing to win, I’d make all kinds of orange, lemon, and lime flavored things, especially orange muffins!

  53. I have been wanting a Microplane for a long time now, and I am also not sure why I haven’t picked one up yet. I would love to win this one so I could use it to zest lemons when I make Creamy Lemon Squares! πŸ™‚

  54. I would like to for the multi-functional reasons that you mentioned! Also I don’t own a zester and it would be awesome for the recipes that call for it.

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