There are many cooking gadgets that have been designed and marketed to help with the tedious task of chopping vegetables. The food processor is a wonderful help but it’s a lot of work to clean. All the smaller gadgets are also a lot more trouble to clean. Most people still prefer knives and there are a number of different kinds that have been designed for cutting and chopping.
Cooks in different cultures have their preferred ways to cut and chop herbs and vegetables. Most Americans and the French use chef’s knives. Some cultures use cleavers, one of my favorites. I’ve watched cooks use a large mortar and pestle to mince herbs and pine nuts into pesto. Many Italian cooks use a mezzaluna, or what my mom called a “rocking chopper”.
The term mezzaluna comes from the Italian word that means “halfmoon” because of the blade’s curved shape. A rocking chopper can have one, two, or three blades between its two handles making it very efficient and fast. I love this knife. They are especially good for chopping nuts and mincing parsley.
Holiday Slaw With Citrus Dressing and Mini Turkey Burgers
- 2 large carrots, julienned
- 1 1/2 cups jicama, cut into matchsticks
- 3 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped, toasted
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- zest of two oranges (using a zester not a microplane)
Arrange the ingredients however you like on plates and drizzle with the dressing or place them all in a large salad bowl and toss them with the amount of dressing that you like.
- 1/2 cup grape seed or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (use a microplane)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake until well blended.
Mini Turkey Burgers
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/4 cup grated red onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Place the turkey in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl mix the onion, mushrooms, celery, parsley herbs and spices. Gently mix the vegetable mixture with the turkey only mixing until just incorporated. Then gently form 12 small patties handling them as little as possible*. You can fry them in a little oil in a skillet, or line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil to catch drips, and place them on the broiler pan. Then bake in a 350° oven for 25 minutes.
* I recommend forming the patties on plates using a fork. Then transfer them to the skillet or broiler pan. It’s better not to form them on the broiling pan or they will have deep ridges on the bottom.