Cooking Tip Thursdays: The Microplane

Cooking Tip Thursdays is dedicated to making time in the kitchen quicker, easier, and just plain better….

“I’m having a love affair with my Microplane”.  No, this isn’t a line from Sex and the City; this is how my mother began a recent phone conversation of ours.  The reason: up until December of this past year she had been missing out on quite possibly the smartest, coolest tool ever adapted to the kitchen.

Said love affair began over her Christmas visit as I was making a round of holiday beverages.  When I pulled out a Microplane to grate fresh nutmeg into the drinks I immediately heard, “is that one of those things they use during pedicures to scrape the bottom of your feet”?  “Well, sort of”… I then spent the next 10 minutes elaborating on all of the wonderful and handy uses of a kitchen only Microplane.  As any good cook would do, she went out the next day to buy one.  She now has a desire to Microplane pretty much everything in her kitchen.

If you don’t have one, I promise once you do, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

The Many Uses Of A Microplane:

  • Citrus Zest: Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit will be perfectly zested, creating great flavor from the peel without the bitter pith.
  • Grating Garlic: Grating garlic was never so fast and easy.
  • Grating Hard Cheeses: Freshly grate hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano, Asiago, and Romano into soft piles or on top of your favorite dish.
  • Chocolate Shavings: Simple and elegant chocolate shavings to top off a dessert.
  • Fresh Coconut: Perfect for freshly shredded coconut.
  • Grated spices: Prepare fine powders out of large spices like nutmeg and star anise.
  • Fresh Ginger: Peel the skin off  ginger and grate it into a nice fine pulp.  Squeeze that pulp through cheesecloth and you have fresh ginger juice.

Much to her credit, an Arkansas engineer originally designed the Microplane as a woodworking tool in the mid 90’s.  It was never intended for the kitchen.  They have since started a line of products for the feet.



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