Whenever I use fresh lemon juice, I automatically zest the fruit before squeezing it. If I don't need the zest immediately, I wrap it tightly and store it in the freezer. The zest is the thin yellow layer of the peel, without the pith, which is the bitter, white layer underneath. It's beautifully aromatic and has a lovely, intensely lemony flavour without the sour flavour of the juice (the zest from oranges and limes is also delicious). The best way to remove the zest is with a zester: a hand-held tool with five small, sharp holes that cut away the zest in fine strands. For bigger pieces, use a sharp vegetable peeler, but you might have to try several before finding the best one for removing only the zest. For finely grated zest, buy a rasp, which is sometimes called a 'microplane' at fancier cookware stores. Regular graters don't work well because most of the zest gets stuck in the holes and they are a lot of trouble to clean. Finely grated lemon zest is a good addition to sweet pastry doughs and even works with savoury pastry if the filling you're using is appropriate. It is lovely in fish pie, especially if the filling is cream-based because the sharpness of the zest cuts the richness of the sauce. Lemon zest is used in a gremolata sauce (chopped parsley, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil, sometimes with the addition of anchovies and capers). Gremolata is usually served with osso bucco, but is also delicious with poached fish or beef. Lemon zest goes well with seafood. For a quick shrimp dish, remove the shells and heads from the shrimp. Heat unsalted butter mixed with oil in a saute pan, add thinly sliced garlic and let it cook until it is softened but not brown. Add the shrimp in one layer, grated lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Turn the shrimp over when half cooked and continue to saute for a couple more minutes - do not overcook. Remove from the heat and stir in fresh lemon juice, lots of chopped parsley and a chunk of unsalted butter. Serve the shrimp as soon as the butter is melted. This recipe also works with fish. Use salmon or a firm-fleshed white fish. To make flavoured vodka, add long strands of zest (lemon, orange or lime) to a bottle of vodka and let it stand at room temperature for at least a week so the alcohol can absorb the citrus oils. Store the vodka in the freezer.