New This Month

Must-Have: Mandoline

Everyday Food, April 2007

Take home this professional chef's tool, and faster than you can say "Order in," you'll have expertly sliced vegetables and fruit that are a cut above.

What It Does
A mandoline, sometimes called a Japanese slicer, is a bladed tool that makes uniform slices of vegetables and fruit quickly and easily. The blades are often adjustable, allowing for different thicknesses. The results can be used for gratins, galettes, salads, tarts, and more.

What To Look For
Today's flat handheld mandolines are made of high-grade plastic or wood. At $20 to $35, they're less expensive than traditional stainless-steel models. Smaller and easier to use, these are ideal for the home cook. Some also include interchangeable blades that julienne, waffle, and crinkle-cut slices. All have a safety guard.

Sharp Thinking
Treat the blade with the respect you'd give your most razor-edged knife -- it's that sharp -- and always use the safety guard. Store the mandoline away from where kids can get to it. For cleanup, always wash (very carefully) by hand.

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