Getting those cheffy effects is easy when you’re armed with the best tool in the drawer

mcith_IMG_6212%203.jpgOnce upon a time every chef had to have serious knife skills.

Had to know how to take apart any animal, fish or fowl for maximum cost effectiveness. Had to know how to prep vegetables for minimum waste, maximum appearance and cooking consistency.

Now of course, not so much if at all, but there are some kitchen tasks that are still worthwhile doing and doing well and Microplane’s new Fine Julienne Gourmet is a godsend.

Julienne means, of course, thin matchstick-sized pieces. A classically French trained chef can, with a sharp knife, knock them out with remarkable accuracy and consistency and not lose any fingers. Us mortals are often not so lucky.

You might want to julienne raw carrots for a salad, or potatoes to make the finest chips or a roti. Or you may want to make a coleslaw or prep crisp veg for a ferment. Stir frying is much faster when you prep your veg this way

Microplane already makes a larger device that creates larger juliennes, and uses a combination of mandolin style blade with a second row of cutters that then slice up the veg.

mcith_Mp_Gourmet_fine%20Julienne_45003_sThis version uses’holes’ rather similar to a box grater, but perfectly shaped and with the Microplane super-sharp edge to make it easy.

So easy and fast in fact that it’s best to use a tool to hold your veg or there is a chance of adding bits of your fingers to the cooking. A Non-Slip Foot protects your worktop and belps steady the slicer in use.

We whizzed through carrots and beetroot from our allotment and mixed them with tahini and mixed seeds to make a healthy side salad.

We took some of our courgettes and made them super pretty for steaming, which was fast and even, and we also fried the strips packed into small fritters. Courgette fries are delicious and a great way to use up surplus.

Top tip, ‘glue’ the courgette strips with gram (chickpea) flour before frying for extra tastiness. This is the flour that makes onion bhaji so good.

The slicer also did a great job on carrots and beetroots to be fermented. The consistency of the pieces ensuring even salting no’funny’ bits.

Apples were easy to julienne too for a crunchy coleslaw.

Washing up is easy, a running tap dislodges most of the bits and a quick wipe finishes the job.

Another great Microplane device to keep handy in your kitchen drawer.

Available from and independent cookshops nationwide, RRP £24.95.

The NEW Fine Julienne Blade joins the existing Gourmet Series of exciting blade styles which deliver various grating results to meet every need including Fine, Ribbon, Coarse,

Extra Coarse, Star and Ultra Coarse blades along with the Large Shaver, the Slicer and Julienne Slicer.