At some point over the past year I became a shaved salad junkie. I can’t even look at produce anymore without envisioning it in paper-thin slices, tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, a few spices, some fresh garlic, and an herb chiffonade. Strong knife skills and a steady hand can get you there, but the real secret to precisely sliced foods is a mandoline, which makes easy work of the slicing, slashing your prep time to just a few minutes. With this model’s interchangeable blades — swap them out for straight cuts, waffle cuts, or a speedy julienne — you’d be hard pressed to find a reason not to get one.
Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer, $25.90 at Amazon.com