Explore new cooking territory with this handy kitchen tool.
Once favored mostly by professional chefs, mandolines have become the go-to tools for healthy cooks. The plastic or metal planes with super-sharp blades allow you to shave off ribbons of zucchini, carrot and yellow squash and toss with vinaigrette for a new twist on a raw salad, or to indulge a potato chip craving by thinly slicing sweet potatoes and baking them to a crisp with just a smidge of oil. These once-pricey precision instruments are now available at a more reasonable $25 to $60 (the Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer, below, retails for $34.95 on Benriner.com). Most mandolines come with a device that helps you keep a grip on your veggies and protects your fingers at the same time. Even so, consider investing in a pair of metal gloves, like the kind used for oyster shucking. Better safe than sorry!