Disclosure: KitchenAid gave me a KitchenAid 13-Cup Food Processor with ExactSlice System™ in exchange for writing an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve waited patiently for anything. Patience–a virtue, they say–is not a quality I posses. Certainly not something I am proud of, but a quite entrenched part of my character nonetheless–and one that is taking some work to overcome. Despite my penchant for long days spent in the kitchen, and perhaps because of an almost nonsensical need to take on new and difficult projects every chance I get, I have little time to dilly dally. In culinary school, we learn to cut vegetables with precision and proficiency. An emphasis on classical technique and traditional French dishes prepares us to replicate culinary history with exactness. The educational process is very hands-on: We attend a demo where we learn the recipes and techniques, we prepare a work plan, and we head into lab to be graded on our ability to recreate what we have just learned. Each dish is created like it’s the one and only you’ll ever make, and even though it’s a school kitchen (albeit, a very high-end one) at a learning institution, the stakes often feel high. It’s stressful at times, but through it all I have learned to appreciate the meticulousness that is inherent in many kitchens. The importance of, and context for, a tiny box-shaped brunoise, or the beauty and versatility of a long, slender julienne, for example, is no longer a mystery to me. Knife skills aside, after so much time spent cooking under pressure, it’s nice to come home to a space where cooking can take on a more relaxed vibe. I still take great care in the creation and presentation of my food at home. After all, we first eat with our eyes. And though patience does not rank high on my list of offerings, I try very hard not to compromise on quality. For this reason, a food processor is an instrument I’ve used regularly in my kitchen for the last 7 years. It makes light work of some laborious tasks, and it often does them as well as if I’d done them myself. I make pastry crust, blend nut butters, process veggie burgers and homemade lara bars, and whip up salad dressings and pestos, several times a week. I also shred cabbage and carrots for this favourite salad that is on rotation here at least once a month. It’s a machine that has certainly earned every penny I paid for it. A small part recently broke on its base, and though the processor still works fine, I couldn’t help but think that its time may soon be coming to an end. Serendipitously (oh Universe, you never cease to amaze me!), KitchenAid offered to send me a new food processor in exchange for an honest review of the machine. With big shoes to fill, this machine certainly had some showing off to do.
And it did! Like my old model, it has a small bowl, in addition to the larger (13-cup) container, for both small and large jobs, or for different jobs for the same recipe. Its much wider mouth houses a 3-in-1 feeding tube (aka the 3-in-1 Ultra Wide Mouth™), including–my favourite–a cylindrical one which easily holds long thin-ish vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and celery for easy slicing–something my old machine couldn’t easily do. And though it won’t pass the culinary school vegetable cuts test, this machine, is called the ExactSlice™ for a reason. It can chop, knead, purée, shred, and slice with quite accurate precision, even allowing you to adjust the size of slice you want–a truly exceptional feature! (Case in point: Amy has a great photo showcasing how she and her machine went to town on some carrots.) For this Green Goddess Shredded Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing, I prepared all of the salad components (except the apple) in the processor in just a few minutes. I then switched from the shredding/slicing blade to the bowl and easily whipped up the dressing. The only drawback I encountered as I explored this new machine, was adjusting to the new ways in which it would turn, click, or snap into place. One good glance at the manual, however, and I had my bearings and found the machine to be very user friendly. (Just read the manual first, Kris. When will I ever learn?)
Whether you have a food processor or not, this salad is a cinch to make. Light, crunchy, and loaded with life, it’s a small investment of kitchen time for a really tasty pay-off. With so little time needed to prepare it, practicing patience may only be challenging when you realize how much better the salad tastes if you wait until the next day to eat it.
- Half a small head of savoy cabbage, cored
- 3 Lebanese (or other small) cucumbers
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp maple syrup or honey
- ½ tsp Za'atar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Black sesame seeds for sprinkling, optional
- Shred half of the cabbage using the slicing blade and half using the shredding blade, for different texture and visual effects. If you don't have a food processor, simply slice thinly with a knife.
- Slice the cucumber into ¼-inch thin slices, using the slicing blade or a knife
- Cut the apple in half, remove the core and seeds and slice into very thin slices along the length of the apple.
- Mix all of the salad ingredients together, but set aside some apple slices for garnish.
- To make the dressing, simply process the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, water, olive oil, maple syrup, za'atar, and salt and pepper in a food processor until completely incorporated. Alternatively, whisk these same ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Taste the dressing and adjust seasonings to your liking.
- Pour the dressing over the greens and toss with your hands to coat.
- This salad tastes best after sitting for several hours, or overnight in the fridge, to allow the flavours to meld.