The hot summer weather bring a whole new menu with it, so we can start welcoming salads back into our fridge and herbs onto our windowsills. With all the new fresh produce, you’ll have more food to chop, slice and grate, for which you can buy a million gadgets that claim to make your life easy, but the reality is they just clutter your kitchen and means your drawers are full of things you will only see once a year. All you really need is a good selection of knives to prepare your veg with.

Last year, Jamie Oliver released an essential list of kitchen equipment as part of his 30 minute meals series, listing ‘3 good quality knifes: chef’s knife, pairing knife, bread knife.’ This proves you don’t need a massive knife set that will cost you too much. With those three knifes you can do nearly everything, and you can spend the spare cash on getting some really good quality knifes that will last for years. I would still remove some items from that list though, in favour of using a knife. Things such as garlic crushers may save you a little time, but don’t think it’s necessary, and using a knife gives the added advantage of being able to choose how roughly you want to cut it. The same applies with chopping herbs: you can cut everything really fine if you want to make a smooth tomato base or get nice, thick slices of garlic with rough cuts of coriander or basil for a rustic and visually appealing meal.


Photo credit: Jeff Attaway – Creative Commons

Items you certainly won’t need are really specific items, designed to chop or core only one type of fruit or vegetable. They are generally too niche and take away the therapeutic element of chopping away with a paring or chef’s knife.

If you have a kitchen windowsill that gets a lot of sunlight, buy some potted herbs from the local supermarket. Things like basil and oregano are really diverse flavours that will go into lots of different dishes. Growing them isn’t tough, but do some research on how to get the best results. Once you’ve gown them you’ll have fresh herbs to hand all the time, without having to dash to the supermarket at the last minute.

Check the list of essentials and question what you really need for what you’ll be cooking. Get rid of the extraneous stuff and you’ll find yourself preparing your fresh summer food much quicker!

This Bell Pepper corer probably won’t save you much time or space, unless you forget how a knife works.


Photo credit: The Green Head