As we pointed out yesterday, the skin of a citrus fruit is filled with fragrant, flavorful essential oils. So don't waste it! Here are three ways to turn orange zest into something delicious.
1. Candied Orange Zest
With vegetable peeler, remove strips of zest from 3 oranges. Place strips in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Drain; repeat two more times with fresh water. Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 1/2 cups water in a clean saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add the citrus strips to the boiling syrup; reduce heat, and simmer until strips are translucent very tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat; let strips cool in syrup, at least 1 hour. Transfer to wire rack to dry completely.
2. Fennel Paprika Rub
Combine 2 tablespoons orange zest, 2 tablespoons sweet paprika, 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, and 1 tablespoon coarse salt. Sprinkle over pork, lamb, or beef for roasting or grilling. Makes 3 tablespoons.
3. Citrus-Mint Salt
Spread 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves and 2 tablespoons orange zest on a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel. Microwave on high in 30-second increments until dry and brittle, about 2 minutes. Cool, then rub into 1 tablespoon coarse salt until finely ground. Sprinkle over fish or chicken. Makes 2 tablespoons.