It's been a zucchini kind of summer for me—I've eaten it every way imaginable in the past few months. My only regret? Not finding out about this spiral veggie slicer sooner.
French company Mastrad recently came out with this compact but multifunctional slicer ($15), which has three different blades and a safety hand guard. I've found the slicer to be easier to use than a mandoline, less messy than a box grater and more efficient than a vegetable peeler. And I love that all four pieces stack together and only take up about three square inches in your utensil drawer.
The three blades—one cuts ribbons, one ?-inch julienned strips, and the third ?-inch julienned strips—are each useful for different dishes. I found the ribbons a bit too wide for making zucchini noodles, but they would be perfect for these Swedish pickles. The two julienne blades were similar, but the smaller one would be my choice for replacing a grater. I plan to use it for slicing zucchini for a frittata and carrots for salad or slaw.
This spiral slicer is pretty much foolproof. In fact, I didn't need the finger guard until I got down to the last few inches of the veggie I was slicing. My one piece of advice is to stop every once in a while to cut the ribbons off the slicer, or you'll end up with super long slices that are difficult to eat.
Cleaning the spiral slicer was the biggest challenge, and even that wasn't really a problem. There were a couple of stubborn pieces of zucchini that stuck in the blade—it's precarious to pry them out with your bare fingers, but a dish brush makes quick work of leftover veggie bits.
Ready to use it? Try one of these dishes:
Zucchini Noodles with Green Goddess Dressing: Any of the three blades will create noodles for this dish, it just depends how wide you want them. Once you've sliced the spirals, salt the zucchini to remove excess water. Then simply toss with this creamy green goddess dressing, or, alternately, walnut pesto or homemade vinaigrette.
Crostini with Zucchini Pesto: Use the smaller of the julienne blades in lieu of a box grater for this crostini topped with a vibrant pesto whose surprising star ingredient is raw zucchini.
Carrot Salad: Use one of the julienne blades to cut carrots for this Moroccan-inspired salad laced with coriander, cumin, cinnamon and almonds.