when mandolining… always use the guard!

summary: using the mandolin to julienne the radish for radish butter; lime juice isn’t always the best substitute for lemon juice; (click on image to see larger view)

radish The first time I made radish butter, I used a knife to julienne the radish. But after seeing that Jude used a mandolin to make his radish butter, with some trepidation, I decided to use our mandolin.

Once again, I must confess that I usually manipulate T into doing any of the mandolining. I’m quite nervous of the main blade. It’s sharp!! Sharp. Sharp. Sharp.

Of course, I used the guard!

Ha. I bet you thought from the title that this was going to be a gruesome tale of woe. Not this time!! No no no. I am pleased to say that I am typing this with ten unmaimed fingers. (I never want to endure weeks of nine finger typing again :lalala: …please don’t ask; even though it’s more than 3 years ago, it’s still too embarrassing painful.)

radish At first, I thought it wasn’t going to work very well at all. I chose the wrong blade. The fine toothed comb blade I chose basically pulverized the radish. (I confess that I’m not sure WHAT this blade is for… and do we still have our Benriner instruction booklet to find out what they recommend? If so, who knows where it is?)

radish Wow!!

It took virtually no time to achieve this. The only drawback is that the mandolin leaves a fair amount of radish uncut. But a regular knife can take care of that very quickly (or the extras can be eaten – they’re delicious).

We didn’t have any lemons left in the fridge but we did have limes. Who would have thought that lime juice wouldn’t work in radish butter?! Surprisingly, the lime juice is too strong a flavour and competed unfavourably with both the radish AND the mint.

Not that the radish butter was horrible. It just wasn’t as stellar as it was when made with lemon juice. Or maybe I used too much lime juice. This is what comes of using measuring terms like “splash of lemon juice”… (our radish butter recipe ).

Clearly, I’ll have to get more radishes, lemons and limes to do a taste taste. :-)

radish When it’s not in use, we hang the mandolin in a bag I made (using leftover fabric from a pair of Pakistani-style trousers – pattern here) on the cookbook shelf. We are so pleased with our mandolin and bag that we recently cloned them.

We usually use the mandolin to cut pototoes. I can’t possibly rave enough about the hash brown potatoes and potato pancakes/fake latkes that T has been making for years! (I cannot believe I’ve never posted about either of them! I know I’ve taken photos. I’ll have to rifle through the photos folders. Remind me.)



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2 responses to “when mandolining… always use the guard!

  1. MyKitchenInHalfCups

    … I only use the guard when the bits get small … so far so good.
    I tried the radish butter and loved it also!

    Glad you loved the radish butter but Shhh!!! Don’t tell ANYONE that you don’t use the guard all the time, Tanna! Danger danger danger!!! -Elizabeth

  2. Martin

    The guard on a Benriner mandoline is really badly designed. I always use it regardless, but have read you can use instead one of those stainless-steel mesh gloves you sometimes see butchers wearing.

    I agree, Martin; it isn’t the best it could be, is it? It appears to have been designed for VERY small hands. However, it’s still essential to use it. Good idea to get a stainless steel mesh glove. Although… mightn’t that wreck the blade? -Elizabeth


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