A mandoline slicer can be a fairly intimidating tool, conjuring up nightmare visions of slicing one’s finger into a salad. But an easy-to-use mandoline is perfectly safe (when used correctly, of course) — and can even be kind of pretty.
Camilla Marcus, owner of West-bourne in New York, purchased her Benriner mint green mandoline slicer in 2007 and says it still works perfectly. “Especially working with vegetables, it allows you to slice delicately for a shaved salad or elegant garnish, a quick way to help make any dish — even at home — have a more polished look through a simple technique,” she says. She uses it for shaved zucchini salads, vegetable carpaccio, and soup with shaved root vegetables; it’s also handy for topping a dish with shaved cheese or fruit like apples.
Marcus says she was particularly drawn to the Benriner brand, founded in Iwakuni City, Japan, in 1945. “My dad worked in Japan for most of my childhood,” she says. When she started stocking her kitchen, “[the Benriner mandoline] is one of the first things I bought.”
The mint green color is a plus, as is the fact that this mandoline lays flat so it can slot into any utility drawer. “You see a lot of fancy mandolines on the markets, and for a lot of home cooks it can feel a little dangerous or intimidating, especially the ones that have a lot of bells and whistles,” she says. “This is a more approachable version.”
The Benriner has an adjustable blade, which you can set for slices 0.2 millimeters to 8 millimeters thick. Replacement stainless steel blades are available online, and it comes with a finger guard for added safety. Most delightfully, Marcus says, like so many tools these days, it perfectly combines form and function.
“A lot of times, kitchen equipment can be over-designed or overthought,” she says. “To me, keeping it simple and streamlined is oftentimes the best design.”
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