Zest has a certain depth that the juice lacks. In a simmered sauce or a braise like Jamie Oliver's chicken, lemon zest mellows out and adds an almost floral note. Grated over the top of a finished pasta dish, the zest heats up just enough to perfume the entire plate.
We've also been zesting lemons directly into our salads. The raw zest definitely has a more upfront flavor, but we love the bitter zing we get in every bite. It's especially nice when paired with a robust, fruity olive oil.
And of course, zest is essential for making truly lemony desserts, like our lemon ice cream and lemon spongettes. Those made with just the juice seem to somehow lack true lemony-ness, but just a few teaspoons of zest add exactly the depth and lemon flavor that we're looking for.
Are you a fan of lemon zest?
Related: Tip: Five Ways to Use Naked Lemons