Stop! Before you toss that citrus rind in the trash or down the garbage disposal, we want you to consider the other uses that ingredient has. Often overlooked, the peel or zest is packed with flavor that can make a major impact on your food. But you’ll want to make sure that flavor stays zesty and not sour. When separating the rind from the rest of the fruit, you’ll want to avoid the white pith because it has a bitter taste. To get you saving your peels or using that zest, here are 7 recipes unlocking the flavor of the humble citrus rind.
1. Candied Lemon Peel
Whole Foods has the how-to for your basic candied lemon peel. It is recommended to look for lemons with thick skins, and this method is also how you could give a simple sugar candy coating to other citrus fruits — such as oranges and grapefruit.
- 8 organic lemons
- 5 cups sugar, divided
Directions: Cut the top and bottom off each lemon. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off pieces of the skin, cutting from top to bottom. Slice peels into 1/4-inch strips or leave in natural shaped pieces. Place peels in a sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Drain and repeat two more times. Mix 4 cups sugar in with 3 cups cold water. Bring to a boil. Add lemon peels and turn heat down to a simmer. Simmer lemon peels for 1 hour over low heat. Remove from liquid.
Spread remaining sugar evenly on a baking sheet. Roll lemon peels in sugar and place on cooling racks to dry, about 3 to 5 hours.