Praise the farmers’ market, it’s finally spring time! Zucchinis, carrots, onions, cabbage, beets! The produce section is bursting with freshness. (Compare that to a month ago when poking around for the few good items meant avoiding the stink eye from other shoppers.) For once, your crisper is full and all those glorious veggies are ready to chop.
Right. Chop. The annoying pre-dinner time chore. This is exactly when a mandoline comes in handy, you know, if you’re willing to risk losing the tip of a few fingers in pursuit of a vibrant spring salad. Let’s be real here: mandolines are scary! But they’re a timesaver. In fact, Dez restaurant co-owner and executive chef Eden Grinshpan says it’s the single most underrated kitchen utensil—pretty high praise.
So, what’s the key to shaving time off your cooking prep and not your digits?
First, make sure you’re using the mandoline on a clean, sturdy surface. That way, it’s easier to keep your movements smooth. When getting ready to slice and dice, always use the safety guard. It provides a protective layer between you and the food. Hold the mandoline with your non-dominate hand to keep it in place, while holding the produce with your other hand, which has more control. Stop before you get to the stem, which clogs up the blades, and makes cleanup more dangerous and difficult.
Feel a little better about how to use a mandoline? Here are six of our favorites:
Now that you’re prepared, check out this recipe for these eight lettuce free salads. And get more healthy inspo from the new Well+Good Cookbook.