Chefs’ Trick: Shaved Salad, 3 Ways

Learn, Tips & Techniques

Did you ever wonder why restaurant salads have more delicate, subtle flavors — and look more beautiful — than the ones you make at home? Chefs like Ray Garcia swear by mandolines in their professional kitchens to create quick, precise slices, bringing out the best taste and texture of each ingredient.


Try it yourself! The recipes below showcase sturdy vegetables in elegant presentations, using a mandoline (or vegetable peeler) to create thin ribbons. This simple technique will not only streamline your prep work — it will produce salads worthy of a dinner party.


Cabbage, Pear & Ginger Slaw


1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil

1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated

1 tsp. light brown sugar

1 tsp. soy sauce

1/2 head napa cabbage

1 firm mango, peeled

1 Asian pear, halved and cored

1 red serrano chile

Sea salt and ground pepper


In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, sugar and soy sauce. Set aside.


Using a mandoline, shave cabbage, mango and pear into thin slices. Combine in a bowl. Cut chile into thin rings, remove seeds and add rings to bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at once. Serves 4.


Cucumber, Red Onion & Dill


2 English cucumbers

1/2 red onion

3 Tbs. chopped fresh dill

2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint

2 Tbs. rice vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and ground pepper


Using a mandoline or potato peeler, shave cucumbers lengthwise into thin ribbons. Thinly slice onion. In a bowl, toss cucumbers and onion with dill, mint, vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve at once. Serves 4.


Carrots, Olives & Almonds


1 lb. multicolored carrots

1/4 cup green olives, pitted

1/4 cup tightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted

Sea salt and ground pepper

1/4 cup almonds, toasted and crushed


Using a firm-bristled brush, scrub carrots in a bowl of cold water. Drain and dry with paper towels. Using a mandoline, shave carrots lengthwise into thin ribbons. Set aside in a bowl.


Using a large knife, coarsely chop together olives and parsley. Transfer to a small bowl and add olive oil, lemon juice and cumin seeds and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Add olive mixture to carrots and toss well. Divide salad among individual plates or bowls, sprinkle with almonds and serve at once. Serves 4.

One comment about “Chefs’ Trick: Shaved Salad, 3 Ways

  1. Green Olive Coleslaw | In the Pantry

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