The single-use gadget I actually swear by...

and a the salad dressing I'm currently *obsessed* with.

Hi there,

Yesterday, Abigail and I hosted the second in our summer meal prep class series and I’m still flying high. These virtual classes always actually feel like cooking with a big group of friends and honestly, I’m consistently impressed with how much we’re able to get done in just two hours.

For yesterday’s class, I walked the group through some chocolate peanut butter overnight oats, miso maple salmon cakes, and a stuffed Japanese sweet potato dish. Abigail demonstrated blanching snap peas and whipped up a really clever rice salad that leaned on a store-bought slaw mix as a time-saving technique. (If the menu sounds fun, you can find a recording of the class here and cook along with us that way.) The rice salad’s peanut dressing called for half a lime, juiced, so I whipped out one of my favorite—well actually, one of my only—single-use kitchen gadgets. But before we get to that, allow me to build suspense and credibility with a little aside about kitchen tools:

I have a very “you do you” attitude about kitchen gadgets and trendy appliances; garlic press? I don’t have one but if you love yours and it helps you get in the kitchen, I say go for it! Air fryer? Limited New York counter space means we won’t be making air-fried delicacies anytime soon. One of those multi-slicer tools from late-night infomercial land? Again, if it’s the thing that gets you in the kitchen, no judgement! All this said, I’m extremely choosy about which items make my own kitchen cabinet-storage-cut and generally find that a good knife, cutting board, and the standard kitchen appliances (fridge, oven, and stove) are all I really need to get most of the cooking I want to get done done.


But! There is one single-use gadget for which I make a whole-hearted exception: my trusty hand-held citrus juicer.

While it takes up relatively little valuable kitchen real estate, it’s a tool that has, to my knowledge, only a single use: juicing citrus. As clarified above, because I usually find them redundant to my knife/cutting board combo, I generally avoid gadgets that can only do one thing. But this tool does that thing so well that I’ve added it to my kitchen arsenal and make use of it almost daily. Here’s a quick argument in favor of my beloved citrus juicer:

  • The main reason I love this tool is that it quickly juices lemons and limes and captures seeds in the process. No more awkwardly dipping your fingers into a lemon-y salad dressing to fish out pesky seeds, using a strainer and dirtying an extra dish that’s annoying to wash, or crunching down on an errant lime seed in your guacamole!

  • It’s also incredible easy to use: open the tool, cut your lemon or lime in half, place the citrus flat side down so the part you cut is exposed to the bottom of the tool where the holes are, then squeeze into a vessel of choice. As mentioned in this handy video demo, resist the urge to place the round part of the citrus into the round part of the tool.

  • They’re dishwasher safe, but if you don’t have access to a dishwasher, they’re also extremely easy to clean and need little more than a quick rinse.

  • And finally, while I’m strongly in favor of a store-bought sauce, I do think freshly juice citrus is far superior to the kind you can buy in a bottle at the grocery store and this tool makes it a breeze to juice a buncha lemons or limes.

I’m sure you have a plethora of recipes that call for juiced citrus, here’s one for Toasted Sesame Mustard Dressing that I’m absolutely obsessed with and is a perfect way to put a citrus juice to good use:

Ingredients

  • One lemon, juiced (about 2 Tbsp)

  • 1 Tbsp grainy mustard

  • 1 Tbsp greek yogurt

  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil (like sunflower or canola oil)

  • Hefty pinch sea salt

Procedure

  • Add all ingredients to a sealable jar, tightly screw on the lid, and shake until everything is well combined. Store sealed in the fridge and enjoy this dressing on salads of your choice within 4-5 days.


Okay, that covers it from me on the citrus-juicing and tip-giving front for this week. If you have one and love it, I’d love to hear from you about what you use it for—you can shoot me a note by responding directly to this email or send me a DM over on Instagram. Wishing you a well-fed week ahead!

With love and a tip of my chef’s hat,

Erica

Want more? I’m so flattered! You can also follow me on Instagram or check out my blog where you can find my tips-laden e-book collection.

Pssst—the link I used for the citrus juicer is an affiliate link, which means I might earn a very much appreciated little chunk-o-change if you use it to make a purchase!