The Kitchen Tool Ina Garten Swears By For Shredding Brussels Sprouts

Food personality Ina Garten smiling
Food personality Ina Garten smiling - Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Ina Garten loves Brussels sprouts, and she has recipes for many different preparations of this nutritious vegetable. She likes to roast them, sauté them, and even use them in a salad. The "Barefoot Contessa" host also loves to make cooking simple and delicious. Part of her success depends on finding handy shortcuts to reduce the prep time needed to create a dish. So, how does Garten speed things up? She's not afraid to pull out an appropriate kitchen gadget such as the food processor.

Food processors come with an array of attachments, and Garten likes to use the slicing disc to shred the Brussels sprouts into thin pieces. These shreds make it quicker and easier to work with this vegetable. One of her favorite ways to cook them is to simply sauté them in a pan with butter and oil to let their natural flavor shine through. Sometimes, she jazzes this dish up a bit by adding diced pancetta, which gives it a salty and smoky twist.

Read more: The Best Kitchen Gadgets You Can Buy

Ina Garten Loves Slicing Sprouts In A Food Processor

Food processor in retail store
Food processor in retail store - Starush/Getty Images

Although Ina Garten recommends using the slicing disc on her food processor for sautéed Brussels sprouts, she sometimes eschews this handy gadget for a humble knife, as with this winter slaw recipe. The slicing disc on the food processor, though, would make quick work of shredding the Brussels for the slaw, as well as chopping the radicchio and kale found in the recipe. You could also shred Brussels sprouts and serve them for this tasty Brussels sprout salad with pear and pomegranate.

Garten is a fan of Cuisinart food processors, which she recommends on her website. These processors come in a variety of sizes. The smallest only holds less than three cups of food, while the largest handles up to 14 cups. Garten is a fan of the 11-cup version of the Cuisinart Custom Pro. That model will cost you about $170, so it's a kitchen investment. It does come with three discs that allow you to shred or slice food into different thicknesses. The food processor also has a special attachment to knead dough as well.

A Food Processor Helps Speed Up Food Prep

Bowl of Brussels sprout salad
Bowl of Brussels sprout salad - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

The shredding and slicing discs in a food processor can speed up all sorts of food prep tasks. You can thinly slice zucchini and eggplant for a ratatouille or potatoes for scalloped potatoes or tortilla Española. The shredding function can handle everything from carrots and cabbage for a slaw to grating cheese for a lasagna or a plate of nachos. It works best on firmer vegetables and harder cheeses so they don't break apart too easily.

In addition to using the slicing disc, Ina Garten likes to use the food processor's chopping blade to help create a tart dough quickly. It does a great job of combining the butter, ice water, and flour without overworking the dough or heating the butter too much. The food processor's blade is also Garten's go-to tool for making a speedy batch of hummus. The food processors can also stand in for another of Garten's favorite kitchen tools: the food mill. But as she explains on her website, be careful when processing vegetables: "You don't want them to end up like baby food!"

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