September 5, 2017 • By Seamus Mullen
One of the most useful tools in the kitchen may also be one of the simplest: the microplane. When I was a young cook in the 1990’s, and the microplane had just come out, I coveted one. But they were way out of my young cook’s budget, so at the suggestion of my dad, I went to hardware store and spent $1.99 on a wood rasp. It did the trick!
Since then, the price of microplanes as come down as the ubiquity of the tool has gone up and nearly every kitchen drawer has one. I love this tool for its myriad uses, from grating hard cheese to zesting citrus as a finish for salads, grilled vegetables, fish and meat.
But perhaps the one thing I use the microplane for most, is to make perfect garlic puree that melts into a vinaigrette. Garlic is a tricky ingredient, if chopped to coarsely the oils are bruised, the chunks are too large and the result is very unsociable breath! Use a microplane to get just the right amount of pulp to disintegrate into the vinaigrette—hinting at the bright spiciness of the garlic without ruining your date.