There's a reason it's Ina's "can't live without" kitchen gadget.

Jen Skarda
August 15, 2017

Photo: Jamie Vespa

Call it a rasp, grater, zester, microplane—whatever you prefer. This kitchen tool has as many names as it does variety of uses. It may seem like a one-trick pony, but a mircoplane dusts powerful (yet stealthy) flavor wherever it goes. That is why it’s my #1 tool in the kitchen right now. (Plus, it's under $15 and available in pretty much every color you could ever want, including turquoise, eggplant, and retro green.

In late summer, it doesn’t take much to coax beautiful flavor out of the surplus of gorgeous produce available. But the trick of the situation is that we rarely want to spend hours in front of a stove or waiting on a hot oven. How do we showcase summer flavor without spending extra time with cooking? By using a microplane you can incorporate punches of flavor into dishes seamlessly, nearly like magic. With a good microplane, you can shave your ingredient into the finest shred or granules, so much so that sometimes it visibly disappears, but the flavor is always forefront. Let this be your secret weapon to guests savoring and trying to figure out that subtle cap of flavor that they can’t pinpoint, or see.

Start your recipe off strong by intensifying garlic or ginger for a zingy hum of flavor.

Photo: Jennifer Causey

We love to use it to create a velvety, delicate blanket of parmesan—like in our Black Pepper-Parmesan Wedge Salad.

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Or awaken a dish with the vitality of fresh lemon zest—like we do in this Rigatoni with Kale Pesto.  

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Use it to creatively incorporate hardboiled eggs into our Summer Salmon Niçoise Salad or vegetables for an unctuous finishing touch.

And, probably one the easiest (and sexiest) ways to elevate a dessert is a gorgeous layer of grated chocolate. Try it with our Mini Avocado Brownie Bites!

Photo: Jamie Vespa

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