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A board for perfect slices of eggplant.

A board for perfect slices of eggplant

For uniform cooking, it's important to cut eggplant in slices of uniform thickness. As part of our research for the eggplant cookery articles on pages 86 and 168, senior editor Annabel Post and members of Sunset's home economics staff sliced and cooked about a hundred eggplants. Halfway into the project, they were inspired to produce the simple device you see here-- making it much easier to get even slices with every cut.

Shown in the photograph above, their simple slicing board started with a 10- by 11 1/2-inch piece of 3/4-inch birch plywood. (Any smooth, flat board will do.) Three lengths of 1 1/2-inch-wide pine were glued and nailed to the base. A fourth, unattached piece fits between the two long sides, sliding into position against the particular eggplant being cut. That's it.

To use this slicing guide, cut a thin slice off the side or bottom of the eggplant (or cut the eggplant in half) so there's a flat surface to set on the board. Adjust the sliding piece to hold the eggplant in place. Using the elevated crosspieces as guides for a long, stiff knife, such as a chef's knife, and pressing down slightly on the eggplant with your free hand, make cuts horizontally.

The height of the crosspieces determines how thick the eggplant slices will be. For extensive recipe testing, we made three different boards with 3/8-, 1/2-, and 5/8-inch-thick crosspieces. The 1/2-inch size should suit most needs. Use a table saw to rip boards to the desired thickness.

Photo: Pressing on eggplant, slice horizontally with knife blade resting on crosspieces
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Sep 1, 1986
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