Kitchen Tools to Broaden Your Culinary Horizons

The past couple of years have seen a proliferation in the number of books detailing the power of habit. Habits, they say, are the result of our brains constantly looking for ways to save effort and energy. If we actively fight our lazy habits and replace them with new ones, we can unleash a life-changing potential that will allow us to live a more fulfilling lifestyle. Whether it be not snoozing your alarm three times every morning or developing a routine to exercise each evening after work, breaking your old habits potentially offers you the easiest route on the path to leading your best life.

Pear, pomegranate and roasted butternut squash salad.

The theory of habit is one that also applies to the kitchen. In the midst of your weekly routine, it is easy for your weekly menu of meals to become dull, uninspiring and often unhealthy. We turn to quick, easy dishes that we have cooked for years without any attempt at spicing up our recipes or trying new dishes. To break this habit, there are three things we can change for more exciting meal choices: our ingredients, recipes, and our kitchen tools.

Investing in new kitchen utensils or appliances is a simple, effortless way to broaden your culinary horizons. This has never been truer than today, when the market is awash with new and innovative kitchen tools that open the door to many wonderful and occasionally weird foods you can enjoy at home. But which new kitchen gadgets should you try, and what types of food can you cook with them?

The Spiralizer

One of the biggest food stories of 2015, the humble spiralizer had us ditching spaghetti for the more diet-friendly options of courgetti and zucchini noodles. Food blogger and writer Ali from Inspiralized became so inspired by the spiralizer that she gave up work in 2013 to focus on her spiralizer-focused food blog. Ali’s pear, pomegranate and roasted butternut squash salad with a maple sesame vinaigrette is delicious, fresh and will put you well on your way to getting your five-a-day:

Pear, pomegranate and roasted butternut squash salad with maple sesame vinaigrette.


See Ali’s full recipe, as well as a plethora of other spiralizer recipes, on Inspiralized.

Purchase the OXO Good Grips Spiralizer at The Hut.


The Mandolin Slicer

A simple, versatile and, in our opinion, underused kitchen tool, the mandolin slicer is a great time-saving utensil when wanting to chop up uniform pieces of fruit and veg. The consistent results of the mandolin are also fantastic for adding that presentable, chef-like symmetry to your dish—perfect for your Instagram!

New York-based bloggers Smitten Kitchen use the mandolin slicer to create a colourful, seasonal ratatouille topped with soft goats cheese to serve—simple, delicious and nutritious.

Ratatouille and goats cheese on a bed of cous cous.

Ratatouille neatly layered ready to be baked.

A baked dish of ratatouille.

See the full recipe at Smitten Kitchen.

Shop mandolin slicers at The Hut.


Mezzaluna Chopper

After a day at the office, who has the diligence, co-ordination or patience to chop up fresh ingredients or spices for their dishes? We often resort to dried variations for flavouring our dishes, knowing that the flavours from these supermarket equivalents are second-rate when compared with the real thing.

Invest instead in a mezzaluna chopping knife. A mezzaluna requires no hands to hold the food, meaning quicker and safer chopping, while no contact with the food also means you’ll never burn your eyes out with chilli oils ever again. Food writer Heidi Swanson swears by a sharp mezzaluna knife for creating an authentic Italian pesto.

Pine nuts and finely chopped basil for pesto.

See Heidi’s full recipe on her website.

Buy the Joseph Joseph Mezzaluna folding knife at The Hut.

Shop the full range of kitchen accessories at The Hut > >

Images courtesy of Inspiralized, Smitten Kitchen and 101 Cookbooks.

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert