I love kitchen tools. They are one of my greatest weaknesses. I’ve decided to work in a few posts about some of the tools I have which can actually save you time and money. My Microplane Grater is one of those tools. I know it doesn’t look like much, but it does a lot of work in our house.
It does the traditional things like grate lemon, lime and orange peels. I don’t use a ton of grated peel but I’m starting to use more. I use it to grate nutmeg, which I use a lot of. I find that the whole nutmeg lasts a lot longer than buying it already ground and the flavor is so much better.
I also use it to grate hard cheeses like Parmesan and medium cheeses like cheddar. When grating cheddar it makes these cool little curlies of cheese. Because the grate is so small, the cheese melts very quickly. I don’t recommend it for soft cheeses like mozzarella. It’ll just make a huge mess. It’s great for grating up bits of cheese for omelets, salads and toppings for casseroles, since you don’t have to drag out the huge box grater and then dirty your counter or a cutting board. I grate right over the pan or dish then pop the microplane into the dishwasher.
One of the best uses for a microplane grater: grating garlic and onion. I hate chopping garlic. It’s so small and I can never chop it fine enough or even enough for my liking. Jarred garlic does not have the same flavor as the fresh stuff. I can always tell if there is fresh chopped garlic in a dish. Using the grater works perfectly. Just peel the garlic and grate each clove. I usually hold it by the tip which was connected to the bulb since I always cut that off when I chop it by hand. Just make sure you watch your fingers. You don’t want grated fingertip in your dish. I also use my grater to grate onions for dishes where I don’t want the chopped onion to be visible but I want the flavor. Sometimes after a long day, I just don’t want to chop onions, but grating them into a dish is fast and easy. I use it for carrots for sauces and for potatoes when I make deep dish pizza (if you haven’t tried this recipe, you really should. It is AWESOME).
I use my grater at least twice a week. It’s a great tool that saves me money because I can buy food fresh and unchopped/grated and do it myself. A bag of grated carrot is so much more expensive than a bag of carrots. A head of garlic is well less expensive than a jar of garlic and it tastes so much better. A block of cheese is much less expensive than preshredded cheese and it tastes a lot better because it doesn’t have the separators that almost all shredded cheese has in the bag (most companies use cornstarch or something similar to keep the cheese from clumping). I like cheese in my cheese thank you.