Dried Orange Zest
From Alex Mackay's book with photographer Peter Knab, Cooking in Provence (Ebury Press, ISBN 978-0-09-192494-2).
Dried orange peel has been a gem of a discovery for me. It sits in a jar in my kitchen looking pretty unassuming, but just a few strips add a Provençal fragrance to any dish. It perks up bouillabaisse and, along with a few dried ceps, it is vital in a double niçoise, really making it stand out from those of Bordeaux or Burgundy. I’ll certainly no longer entertain the idea of a cooked tomato dish without a few strips casting their scent and spell.
- Food with Alex Mackay
- Head of Delia Smith's cookery workshops and author of Cooking in Provence. (duration: 21′22″)
- Download: MP3
Preheat your oven to around 80°C/175°F/very low gas.
Remove the zest but not pith of 5-6 large oranges in long strips using a vegetable peeler.
Scatter the zest strips in a single layer on either a non-stick tray or a cake rack over a tray. Place into the preheated, very low oven, and leave for 6 hours (overnight is ideal) until they are dry enough to snap in your fingers. Allow to cool, then store in a sealed jar or an airtight box. They will keep for virtually forever, so long as the container is airtight.