If anyone asks me what my "go to" ingredient is, the one ingredient I can always rely on to make a dish just that much more spectacular, I instantly respond, “lemon zest”. To my mind, there is no other ingredient that wakes up a dish like zest can, and literally adds that extra bit of zest to a sleepy dish. Broccoli, asparagus, peas, lettuce, parsnip… a bit of zest can go a long way. It adds zing to any pasta dish, and that extra bit of twang to my favorite lemon crinkle cookies. I found this Zester recently in one of my shopping excursions. I was so excited by my find I instantly called the company and asked if they would send it out to our group so that we could report our findings on KosherScoop.com. Of course they were happy to comply and dutifully sent the Zesters out.
As suspected, the zester did a great job of just getting the outer peel, and none of the bitter pith was captured. The small compartment that caught the zest was great for my citrus cake recipe, making it a neat and efficient process, but I left the compartment off when I was just sprinkling the Fettuccine Alfredo I made for dinner. I have added the zester to my drawer of “most useful tools” and look forward to many delicious uses.
If you do plan to go out and purchase this awesome gadget you can watch the video here and learn how to use it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcbbf0Cz9mg
Now you will see what the others thought…. Just a reminder- most of the people featured below are chefs, food columnists, food bloggers, and/or cookbook authors—ALL of them are REAL cooks!
Sharon Matten, our friend from KosherEveryday.com was also really enthusiastic:
I was thrilled when Kosher Scoop sent me the Edgeware v-etched Better Zester. Aside from the fact that I love getting presents in the mail, I was excited to receive such a useful tool. Around here I’m fondly known as the “Gadget Queen”, and am very discerning when it comes to kitchen tools. In the past I’ve used a great microplane to zest citrus fruit with good success, but when the Better Zester arrived I knew that the microplane was going to have an early retirement (sad for the microplane, happy for me!). There are a lot of features that make the Better Zester so great. First it has a very ergonomic design making it easy and comfortable to hold. I found that it did a great job zesting lemons especially when I held it at a 45° angle to the lemons. Second, I didn’t have to touch the zest at all. I loved the fact that there is a clear measuring tool attached right onto the zester that catches the zest. You can measure the zest unpacked, or with a little knock on the table you can pack the zest for a packed measurement. The tool even has a “squeegee” for easy zest removal. SO simple! Third, I really was impressed by how finely the lemon was zested for maximum lemoniness in the recipe – more surface area means more lemon flavor – right? Finally, the Better Zester with its non-stick coating was incredibly easy to clean, and its dishwasher safe too – bonus! If you are looking for a great citrus zester I strongly recommend the Edgeware v-etched Better Zester. Make sure to give all the citrus in your house fair warning – with this tool no fruit is safe from zesting!
Try my Zesty Lemon Sugar Cookies here!"
Daphna Rabinovitch, former FoodNetwork TV Star from Toronto, ON says:
“Despite initial misgivings about the small size of the teeth, I really liked this zester. I thought the teeth may be too small to properly zest my oranges and lemons, but they were terrific. The built in storage container meant I had no mess to clean up and made it extra easy to measure the correct amount of zest. The soft touch handle made it even easier to grip and although I don’t tend to put these utensils in the dishwasher it was comforting to know I could. I especially like the fact that it has a reusable cover that also protects it when I store it in my utensil drawer. I will definitely be using this zester again and again.”
Our friend and cookbook author Paula Shoyer (PaulasPastry.com) says:
“I found the Edgeware Zester easy to use and I love that the zest had a place to go. I blanched broccoli in salted water until fork tender, drained and dried the pieces. In a medium bowl, whisk 1/4 cup olive oil with 3 cloves crushed garlic and the zest of one lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss with the broccoli. “
Devora Lehrer of couponingtocooking.blogspot.com says:
“I received my Edgeware zester and couldn't wait to try it out. I came upon a recipe from the new cookbook Chic Made Simple and thought this was a great opportunity to try my new zester. I tried the Carrot Muffins which require orange zest. What I loved about this kitchen tool is the ease in which it took the zest off the orange and I especially loved that it has a measuring compartment attached. This is definitely a kitchen tool i will use over and over again and highly recommend.
Melinda Strauss of Kitchen-tested.com writes:
"Edgeware calls its new zester the 'Better Zester' but I'm not sure sure that I agree! The non-stick coating and v-shaped teeth do make it easy for any citrus to glide across the zester without grating into the pith but I found that I wasn't able to get enough of the zest off of the fruit. Sure, no ones likes the bitter pith of the citrus but the Better Zester only allowed me to zest a thin layer off of the peel. The fresh zest storage container with measurements is very cute but not very helpful. I prefer to zest right over a dish or on to a counter top, where I can pick it up and measure. With the container, I had to scoop the zest out with my fingers then add it to the pile of dirty dishes in the sink. Let's just say I prefer a standard microplane to zest my citrus!
Wondering what I made to test the Better Zester? I love to zest lemons and limes in to many of my recipes but I thought it would be fun to try using the zest of a bright and fresh orange in my latest recipe for Sage Gremolata.
I zested half of an orange, which made around 1/2 tablespoon of zest. I added that to 1/2 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage and 2 tablespoons of chopped pine nuts. You can sprinkle this fresh gremolata over your Thanksgiving turkey or hearty stuffing. Enjoy!"
Rivky Raichik family blogger from Los Angeles, CA says:
“I've made the attached delicious salad recipe from Better Homes and Gardens in the past, but always without zesting. The few times I did try zesting, it was a total disaster. Now with my new zester, it took me about 30 seconds to zest both the orange and the lime. Because I used zest I decided to also use fresh parsley which the recipe calls for instead of parsley flakes which I usually use. I will now not hesitate to use recipes calling for zest.
Thank you for this amazing zester!
Evelyn Marcus Wheeler from Potomac, MD says
“I thought the zester was a real asset. The best part was the plastic top with the measurements on it. It made a huge difference in my zesting because I didn't have to transfer the orange peel to a small dish and then measure the amount. Now I can see the quantity zested and add it directly to the food. I made a Cranberry Maple Sauce for Thanksgiving.
Tonight I will add some lemon zest to my panko bread crumbs and put in on fish. Zesting is so simple now.”
Cranberry Maple Sauce
Elisa Rotman of Northbrook, IL says:
“I used the zester to make a Lime Rice dish I threw together (details below) to accompany a mexican inspired fish meal. I thought it handled really well and was comfortable to use. I liked that I did not need a cutting board or plate under the zester to catch the delicate pieces of lime zest. When I slid the under piece along the blade to remove the zest, I still needed to use my fingers to remove the last of the zest that was pushed firmly to the front of the zester. I found the pieces of zest to be more finely grated than with other zesters which is wonderful because zest can often be overpowering to add to a recipe - this helped the zest remain a background flavor to the dish. I think this zester is great! It is a bummer to have to wash more than one part but worth it in the end. “
Victoria Carreiro of popular blog itsybitsybalebusta.com says:
“As an itsy bitsy balebusta, I happily welcome any kitchen tool that can help the ease and efficiency of preparing meals! Between being on the phone with my Mom trying to confirm recipe directions, or the occasional recovery of a dish gone wrong, all the while keeping an eye on timers, my kitchen is a hectic place. Small appliances and gadgets are essentially my assistants, helping me to prepare everything on time, with a little extra flair. Edgeware’s Better Zester is the newest addition to my team!
Truthfully, seeing “zest” of any kind listed as an ingredient in recipes is always daunting. I’ve never had a proper zester and would more often than not skip the step altogether or resort to using a grater. Definitely not the best option.
Better Zester completely changes that. It is sheer convenience and ingenuity. The handle is comfortable to grip and allows the zester to remain stably in your hand, while the stainless steel v-etched teeth and non-stick coating allow you to effortlessly zest without having to pick out the pith! It also comes with a cover, which protects the gadget once it goes from use to drawer (although you’ll find so many instances to use it, I’m sure it’ll rarely reach the drawer!). There’s even a handy device that slides across the back saving you from having to run your finger along the zester to remove any zest clinging on. And my favorite feature is definitely the storage container attached to the back, which catches the zest AND is labeled with measurements. No more zesting for minutes wondering exactly how many tablespoons you’ve reached!
Overall, it’s a fantastic, innovative product that accomplishes exactly what the best kitchen gadgets should. It makes food preparation easy and enjoyable, while lending a hand to elevate the flavor and presentation of your dish. From someone that would previously skip the “zesting” step altogether, I now look forward to seeing it in recipes and even go so far as to add an extra bit of zest to icing or as a little extra something, when plating a dessert. It greatly enhanced the flavor and presentation of the lemon loaf that I made for Shabbat, while only taking a couple of mere minutes. After using it to zest the lemon into the batter, I was inspired to also add a bit of zest to the icing as well as garnish on the plate! Definitely a valued member of this itsy bitsy balebusta’s team! “
Gilly Rosenthol from Quincy, Massachussets says:
“The Edgeware Zester is fabulous! I've used a microplane grater before, but this takes zesting to a whole new level. First of all, the body of the zester is curved, which makes it much more comfortable to use. But the best feature is a removable storage container that slides onto the underside, collecting the zest, with a rubber squeegee that gathers the zest together for easy removal. I usually lose some of my zest onto the counter or stuck on my blade -- not anymore!
Here's a great recipe to try:
Roasted Broccoli adapted from Ina Garten"
Elizabeth Kurtz owner/operator at gourmetkoshercooking.com says:
"I received the zester and played with it a bit yesterday. Its a nice product. The measuring and scraping feature are kitchy but helpful. The handle has a good grip for dealing with busy cooks because your hands can be wet or sticky and the grip remains steady. I did not think the blade was different than a standard zester, in fact my stainless steel one is sharper and regardless one needs to be careful not to zest too far to get pith. I love the color and personally like to have colored products especially in a kosher kitchen.
I made Asparagus with Orange Vinaigrette. I made it with white and green asparagus and it was beautiful on a white platter, with three bundles of green thin asparagus and two bundles of white, vinaigrette drizzled and pecans on top. I also topped it with some additional orange zest for color but not necessary.
Asparagus with Orange Vinaigrette (from GourmetKosherCooking.com)”
Chaia Frishman owner at fruitplattersandmore.com says:
“Zest with the Best!
The problem with owning a food based business is that there are never good excuses to refrain from buying new gadgets. After all, it's for the business. Who can't use a mango splitter, pineapple corer, or strawberry stemmer (really, they sell it!) Well, I for one, don't give in to those whims because I can use my trusty knife to function in place of any tool Bed Bath and Beyond tries to sell me. That's what one realizes when they sell cases and cases of fruits and veggies a week.
There is one exception to this rule. :the zester. Food processing lemon peels? Nah. Too messy. Chopping up pieces of orange rind? Not small enough. When I need to make zest, I get a zester. But zesters get messy. And I hate mess.
Enter the greatest gadget I got to try this week. The Edgeware Citrus Zester. Part microplane, whole zester this item doesn't only prepare your ingredient, it cleans up after itself.
What I first found amazing about this was the feel of the zester in my hand. It is heavy enough to control, yet light enough to not make your arm ache after using it. The metal is coated and the v shaped teeth are really sharp so the zesting is smooth and easy and no little pieces got stuck in the blades. My favorite part about it was the measuring cup zest catcher. How many times have you zested and poured the zest into a tiny teaspoon only to find out that you need more? Or did the zest peels not go fully into the receptacle. This zester catches every last drop and measure it for you to put straight into the recipe.
True, there are many items that one can live without. This zester, however, is not one of them....”
Goldie Grossman of Highland Park, NJ says
I'll be honest. Usually, I look at recipes that include zest and try to figure out if I can get away without actually zesting a citrus fruit. I love the bright notes that zest adds to any food, but don't love zesting.
When I first got this zester, I scanned the QR code and watched the video with a mix of interest and skepticism. Really? A zester that warrants its own promotional website? The many thoughtful details in this zester's design - from the cover with measurements to the non-slip handle for better positioning - seemed clever, but . . . .
In truth, the video didn't quite nail what it is that makes this zester unique. It isn't that it makes for a better experience so much as it makes for a completely different experience. There's no sticky mess; every shred of zest is neatly captured in the cover. There's no uncomfortable angling around the citrus fruit; any position works. The zester glides smoothly, and the zest is wonderfully fine. Even cleanup is a breeze - a quick soapy rinse does it.
Thanks for sending this my way!
Orange Poppy Dressing from the new Levana book
Roasted Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Pasta Salad - (I used Dried Thyme)
Watermelon Mango from Kosher Palette (blue) - calls for lime zest
Any of those deliciously simple cakes that call for zest that I always tasted in my mind but never actually baked
Try some lemon zest in Israeli salad!
Grapefruit zest in that avocado/grapefruit salad!"
Erica Solomon from Tarzana, California writes:
"Yesterday I got a chance to have an ultimate test drive of the zester. I lead a mother-daughter push-up cake pop event. One of our "stations" was Tiramisu. I had the mothers and daughters grate chocolate with my other microplanes and with the Edgeware Zester. They both resulted in a find zest of chocolate, but the catch all on the Edgeware one was the talk of station by the mothers. Everyone appreciated the way that the food was contained and measured. Chocolate didn't go everywhere and we knew how much we had. We could definitely see how the little scraping edge would help while zesting citrus fruits or ginger. "
As you can see- our testers really loved this product. Although some mentioned it was harder to clean and open the different parts, all agreed the Zester was a fabulous find! (Didn’t I tell you I’m a great shopper!?)
Get ready for my next find!....