Big Love for the Mandoline Slicer

The sharp blade of a mandoline slicer quickly renders all kinds of firm vegetables and fruits into uniformly thin pieces. Many home cooks consider it an indispensable tool, according to a recent Chowhound discussion. But whether you use a traditional stainless-steel model or an inexpensive Benriner, use it with care, since the blade can slice a finger as easily as a carrot. Always use the plastic guard to protect your hand—or even better, wear a machine-washable, cut-resistant Kevlar glove.

Which foods do Chowhounds most often get out the mandoline for?

• Potatoes and other root vegetables—for gratins, Spanish tortilla, or homemade chips.

• Cucumbers—for pickles, salads, and tea sandwiches.

• Onions—for salads, caramelized onions, and French onion soup (with "no tears," eclecticsynergy says).

• Other salad vegetables—from fennel to radishes to cabbage for coleslaw, anything you want sliced paper-thin.

• Fruit—for tarts, salads, and pretty garnishes.

And don't forget the julienne blade—THewat loves it for quick zucchini sautés. And dkenworthy thinks red-tipped radish matchsticks make "a really pretty addition" to salads.

Discuss: Favorite uses for your Mandoline?

Photo of mandoline from Shutterstock