When’s the last time you used your food processor? If yours is stashed away in a cupboard somewhere or gathering dust on the counter, consider putting it back into weekly—or daily—rotation. Not only are processors great for making short work of chopped onions and garlic, they’re absolutely fabulous for building up gluten quickly in pizza and pasta doughs. (Many experts actually recommend them over hand-kneading doughs.) The gadgets can be a dream for speedy desserts, a shortcut to elegant sauces and salsas, and a smart way to incorporate more slaws and sliced vegetables into your diet.
Here are a few recipe inspirations to get your motor running—get it?—and kick that processor into gear.
There’s nothing quite like a food processor when it comes to well-integrated doughs and nailing that difficult “pinch” stage. This simple recipe for delicious homemade pasta dough removes much of the guesswork. All you need to worry about is how to sauce the finished product.
Sure, you could buy the dollar bag of dough at the grocery store, but did you know how incredibly simple it is to make at home in a processor? Its texture is much more delightful when you make it yourself. So get over the “homemade dough” hump; this is even easier than cookie dough.
Every time we break out the processor for salsas and sauces we’re reminded of how much faster it makes the chopping work. Tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, onion and cilantro all get tossed into this paprika-spiked salsa. It’s a smoky dream on vegetarian tacos.
An espresso-cocoa-brown sugar pie dough pressed into a glass baking pan and slathered with a chocolate and pecan filling? Sign us up! Processors can make homemade pie doughs so much less daunting, and this unique recipe for pie bars showcases their charms.
Sure, you could use your chef’s knife to slowly slice three pounds of potatoes into paper-thin rounds. If you have a processor with a slicing feature, though, you could use that instead. And why not, when you can also it for the sweet Romesco sauce in this springy Spanish tortilla recipe?
There’s absolutely no guilt in looking at the contents of your produce drawer and choosing a gadget to help spin them into dinner. Hello, “shred” blade: Carrots plus red and green cabbage go from “crisper hogs” to “dinner” in one quick shred in this recipe—an Asian slaw amped up with grilled shrimp and crunchy peanuts.
As is true of tortilla, hash can be a saving grace for leftovers and refrigerator odds and oendsdds. Use the “dice” blade to turn every single thing—potatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, et cetera—into the right size for a satisfying, veggie-packed hash. Add a couple of fried eggs, and it’s a big enough starter meal to last most folks from brunch right through till dinner.