Freeze Every Citrus Peel That Comes Through Your Kitchen
As I pulled a few slivers of frozen grapefruit peel from my freezer, I knew I’d made a smart move. I sliced the zest thinly lengthwise, chopped it across into a small mince, and scraped it all into a bubbling tomato sauce that had already been hit with harissa and white vermouth.
That grapefruit took my tomato sauce a notch above—and all because I am a hoarder when it comes to saving scraps of anything that may prove edible sometime in the future.
I started stockpiling citrus peels in earnest near the beginning of the coronavirus quarantine in New York City. Any time I needed the juice, but not the zest, from a lemon or lime—or any time I was having an orange, grapefruit, or tangerine for breakfast or an afternoon snack—I would use my favourite vegetable peeler to help the fruit out of its brightly coloured covering. (Don’t press too hard while peeling, or you’ll take too much of the bitter white pith.) I piled the peels into a half-pint container and stashed them in my freezer (they don’t stick together!).
As I drained my water filter into a SodaStream bottle over and over throughout the work-from-home day, I’d pluck two or three pieces of citrus peel from my freezer and drop them into the bottle before carbonating it. Just that quickly, the peels thaw and infuse the sparkling water with their oils, making the homemade water taste just as good as any citrus-flavoured seltzer your local store was already sold out of when you went on your last grocery run.
Another benefit of making zest-flavoured seltzer at home: you can mix and match at will. I’m partial to a grapefruit and lime combo, but combining different varieties of orange peel is also a strong contender.