May We Recommend: Vegetable Choppers | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

May We Recommend: Vegetable Choppers

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As an American who is an Israeli wannabe, I serve salads, lots of them, all the time.  You will always find a chopped Israeli salad as part of my menus. And while we can agree that it is delicious, healthy, and colorful, we can also agree that cubing tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers is incredibly time consuming.  Who has time to chop up all of all of that salad’s ingredients into perfect little matching shapes? 

Not long ago, a friend introduced me to the world of small, portable, vegetable choppers, and in doing so, gave hours of my life back to me.  Instead of spending time chopping each cucumber or pepper into perfectly sized pieces, this guillotine-like contraption quickly and efficiently does it for you. 

The tool is made of durable, PVC-free plastic and usually comes with several different blades, so that you can choose the size of the cubes that result. Use it to cut salad components, beets, even cheese. 

And if your kitchen is small and your counter space is limited, breathe easy:  This gadget is small, light, easy to clean and uses up minimal storage space. It sells for under $25. Find them in Bed Bath & Beyond, on Amazon, or at a host of other home-goods stores. 

And what if cubed vegetables are not what you are after?  What if you just want vegetables diced up quickly, to use in tuna or egg salad, or mixed into meatballs or meatloaf?  There is a world of pull-chop gadgets that are fun and efficient to use.  These, too, are small and a breeze to wash and they make quick business out of chopping carrots or onions or celery.  You don’t need to drag your heavy Cuisinart out of the cabinet; these pull tools are compact and light, like the vegetable choppers. 

They generally consist of a round canister with a metal blade in its center.  Place the vegetables inside, cover the container with its lid, and then pull a string that sets the blade whirring.  Pull three or four times, and the contents are ready to go.

So if, like Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen fame, your apartment is small and storage is limited, yet you love to cook, fear not.  Help is a chop or a pull away.  And the cost is minimal.

Israeli Salad

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