Occasionally a tool from my husband’s workbench pays a visit to the kitchen—needle-nose pliers for yanking out salmon bones, for example. Recently another tool made the trip, but this one—the Microplane rasp—won’t be returning to the basement shop. I’d heard of people using this fine-gauge woodworking rasp as a grater, and I finally tried it myself. I’m in love.
The original Microplane is a slender piece of lightweight stainless steel that doesn’t look like much of a muscle-man, but its superfine grating slots make it a powerful performer. I get virtual snowdrifts of grated Parmesan with hardly any pressure supplied by me. The resulting fine-textured cheese is perfect for blending into risotto or pasta sauce.
Zesting citrus is even more fun than grating cheese, because with just a flick back and forth you get a shower of fragrant, colorful zest and not a jot of pith. And because you don’t need to apply much force to get the goods, you don’t risk scraped knuckles. To gild the lily, the company that makes the rasp, Grace Manufacturing, now makes more models: a narrow profile rasp with an easy-to-grip handle (for a tool junkie, maybe not as serious looking, but much easier to hold—I like it better); a wider, flatter rasp with a handle and a plastic frame; and another wide-body model with larger teeth for a coarser result. For more information or to order, visit www.microplane.com.