Here’s a true confession for you: I have TWO food processors and I use them both regularly… Sometimes at the same time. In fact, I swear by my pair of bladed beauties; more than any other appliance in the kitchen, my food processors help me get the job done.
They’re the ultimate partner in meal-making. From pestos to pie doughs, the mighty food processors really up my kitchen game. Here are the top 5 ways I use them every darn day.
1. For knife work
Clearly I use my food processor for knife work – but I use it on ingredients that are not so obvious. I chop nuts, grind toast and heels into breadcrumbs, and pulse crunchy cookies into crumbly sprinkles for ice cream sundaes.
Most often, however, I mince fresh garlic in the processor. It’s the first layer of flavor in my favorite savory suppers, and the food processor preps it in no time. As I build the recipe, then, I use the same trusty S-blade to chop all the fresh herbs I’ll be using as well – with a sprinkle of water to keep them from sticking to the walls of the bowl.
2. For blending
Smoothies for breakfast, soups for lunch, sauces for supper – any time of day, fresh, frozen, and roasted produce blend together beautifully in the food processor. The key is to pulse together the chunky fruits and vegetables, and then thin them out as they whip around the bowl by pouring liquid through the spout.
Spoon Greek yogurt, squeeze some honey, and pour milk into blended strawberries, bananas, and spinach or kale in the morning. Transform leftover veggies, or roasted ones that were just past their prime, into a satisfying soup with a pour of broth through the spout. And deliciously finish hot-off-the-grill chicken with a simple sauce made of some combination of fresh herbs, toasted nuts, hard cheese, and olive oil.
3. For baking
That’s right, for baking. I lean on my food processor for homemade pie dough that wows. The sharpness of the S-blade is perfect for cutting ice cold butter into flour without melting it at all (which is strategic for achieving buttery pockets and flaky layers in the final product). Shortbread cookie dough, crepe batter, and cake batters also mix together magically in the food processor.
4. For shredding
So much more than the ubiquitous box grater, my food processors make easy work of homemade slaws, chopped salads, quick breads, and pizzas too. From cabbage to Brussels sprouts to carrots and zucchinis for cake, sturdy veggies that are time-consuming to break down, evenly and effortlessly shred in seconds when pushed through the processor. And, in moments, hunks of cheese are made over into fluffy mounds for melting onto homemade pizzas, casseroles, and anything Mexican.
Just be sure to cut large things like heads of cabbage and bricks of cheese into spout-sized pieces before pushing them through the processor.
5. For sorbet
Here’s a sweet surprise for you! Freeze strawberries in resealable containers and pull them out just before you’re ready to serve dessert. Using the S-blade, then, blend the fruit to a fine consistency, add a dash of sugar, a pinch of salt, and a tear of fresh basil, and you will have made the healthiest, yummiest berry-basil sorbet in town. Spoon it out of the processor bowl to enjoy right away, and be sure to transfer leftovers to an airtight container to freeze for later.
Make no mistake, I take full advantage of my food processors. I think of them as extra sets of hands, actually. Greater than a gadget, they’re the meal-making machines that get the biggest workouts in my kitchen. You can probably hold off on getting a second one (like me – wink), but definitely commit to getting to know the one you’ve got in a whole new way. There are berries that need to be blended, baby. Get to it!