3 Nifty Ways to Use a Toothbrush in the Kitchen

By the editors of Cook's Illustrated

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These are all good reasons to keep extra clean toothbrushes handy.

1. Clean a Garlic Press

Dirty garlic presses are notoriously hard to clean. We’ve found that an old toothbrush works best for the job; once the bristles are worn they soften enough to be able to get into the hard-to-reach crannies of the press where pieces of garlic get stuck. This tip also works for other kitchen tools that are too small or intricate to clean well with a sponge or larger brush.

2. Collect Citrus Zest

There’s nothing more frustrating than grating a lemon, lime, or orange and not being able to collect all of the zest that accumulates on the grater. That’s where the toothbrush comes in; run it across the holes to be sure you get every last bit of citrusy goodness.

3. Get Mushrooms Ready for Cooking

Since mushrooms can absorb extra water when you wash them, we prefer to use a toothbrush to clean off errant bits of dirt. Take a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush and rub it across the surface of the mushroom; the bristles will slip under the gills and remove every bit of dirt.

Mushroom and Leek Galette with Gorgonzola

RECIPE FOR MEMBERS: Mushroom and Leek Galette with Gorzonzola

To elevate our tart to entrée status, we wanted a crust that was delicate, sturdy, and flavorful, with a filling to match: We paired mushrooms and leeks with rich, potent binders like Gorgonzola cheese and crème fraîche.

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