Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Kitchen Gadgets: 2. Zester

This months gadget is a very simple one - it has no moving parts and is entirely mechanical. It is a zester. I use it for baking and cooking in equal measure. I am sure many of you have attempted to use the "zester" side of a box grater and cursed at the amount of rind left stuck between the barbs. This method doesn't have that problem. It produces lovely long strands of lemon zest that you can either use whole or chop more finely. I also find it gets almost no pith and still does a good job of getting the zest off the whole fruit, particularly knobbly lemons! There is also something rather satisfying about methodically removing long strips of zest.


Smoked Salmon Risotto 

Serves 2
  • One Diced Shallot
  • 15ml Oil / Butter
  • 150g Risotto Rice
  • 1/2 Litre Vegetable Stock (I use standard swiss vegetable buillon - the green tub)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 3 Drops Lemon Oil (optional)
  • 60-120g Smoked Salmon Trimmings (as much as you fancy, we use value ones)
  • 100g Spinach / Rocket (depending on time of year)
  • Grated Parmesan (to garnish)
Fry off the shallot on a low heat. Make up the vegetable stock, adding the zest and juice along with the bay leaf and lemon oil. Add the rice to the shallot and stir through. Add the stock mixture bit at a time, mixing lots and letting it gently simmer. Once the stock is used up and the risotto is cooked, stir the smoked salmon through. Serve on a bed of leaves and garnish with parmesan.

9 comments:

  1. I'm definitely going to look in to getting a zester, I use a box grater and it's so annoying.

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    1. I tried to use a box grater whilst we were on holiday. Zested a whole lemon and despite stabbing a knife along the groves in a frustrated manner all I got was 1/2 tsp of zest - I was not impressed!

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  2. Mmmm....I have one of those rasp type zesters that were so popular a few years ago and it's no better than the box kind. I think I need one of these.

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    1. I think the microplane ones are the rage at the minute - they look funky but Jenny and I grew up with this sort so it was what went on the wedding list. Jenny does have a good use for the rasp type zester - creating dimples on marzipan fruits by rolling it over the surface!

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  4. Sorry about deleting the above comment - had not logged out of our allotment website. The risotto looks and sounds most delicious. What a natty gadget and an improvement on a grater which are always so awkward to clean.

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    1. I was curious about who Clifton Road Allotments was! Its only a little gadget, but one we both wouldn't do without now.

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  5. Ooh, I need one of those! I'm a microplane user and actually like using it (it's also v good for grating nutmeg) but it doesn't do long strips. I bet they'd look lovely on a lemon drizzle cake. I'm a big fan of risotto, usually veg or chicken, haven't tried salmon, looks delicious - thanks for the recipe!

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    1. We love smoked salmon for how easy it is - make a fairly plain risotto and then just stir through the salmon at the end :)

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