Zest is the thin, brightly colored, outermost layer of the peel of a citrus fruit. Containing most of the peel's aromatic essential oils, it provides lively flavor to both sweet and savory dishes.
To make citrus zest strips:
Using a paring knife held almost parallel to the skin, cut off thin strips, being careful not to remove any bitter white pith. Or, use a vegetable peeler.To grate citrus zest: Draw the citrus fruit across the fine holes of a handheld grater, being careful not to remove any bitter white pith.To shred citrus zest: Draw a zester across the skin to remove zest in thin shreds. Or, use a fine-holed shredder.