A Kitchen Gadget that Upgrades Everything | Cup of Jo

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A Kitchen Gadget that Upgrades Everything | Cup of Jo


A Kitchen Gadget that Upgrades Everything

I wasn’t looking for love, but it found me anyway…

…in the form of a compact, lightweight 12-inch-ish Benriner mandoline.

But first, I need you to know two things about me: 1) I am not a gear person. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I am an anti-gear person, even when it comes to gear that will purportedly be life-changing. (Talking to you, Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, Air Fryer), and 2) I have owned a mandoline for most of my adult life, but, as I now know, it was the wrong one.

It was a food stylist, Lauren Radel, who introduced me to the right one. We were on set shooting my next cookbook, and I couldn’t help but notice how often she used it to slice vegetables — onions, potatoes, radishes, cucumbers — into delicate, uniform, cookbook-photo-worthy pieces. More important, I noticed how easy it was to handle, wash, and stow away in her gear bag, and that it had no bells and whistles. The mandoline I’d owned until that point was the opposite: it was cumbersome, twice the size, and came with a zillion interchangeable blades, a finger protector the size of a baseball mitt, and a fold-out stand to keep the whole thing propped up on the counter. That fancy one lived on a high shelf in my kitchen.

A Kitchen Gadget that Upgrades Everything

As soon as I bought my own bare-bones Benriner, I never bothered putting it away. It lives on my counter — or in the drying rack of my sink — because I end up reaching for it every day, usually multiple times. I use it for everyday tasks, the way I’d use a very sharp knife, for slicing radishes and cucumbers into a lunchtime salad, or to make quick work of a sweet potato placed under fish in a parchment paper dinner

A Kitchen Gadget that Upgrades Everything

…and I use it for special-occasion tasks, to shred Brussels sprouts into feathery slices that become ethereal when tossed with walnuts, currants, and Pecorino, and in scalloped potatoes for a dinner party. Now it feels like everything comes out prettier and tastier.

What about you? What kitchen gear do you swear by? This isn’t sponsored, I just love it!

P.S. The prettiest ways to slice your vegetables, and a simple salad with a secret.

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