Food mill

Technically a vegetable mill, or moulin aux légumes, a food mill is an old-timey tool that belongs in every super-modern kitchen. A food mill looks like a high-sided metal (or plastic nowadays) ring fitted with a crank and, at the base, grating blades (usually fine, medium, and coarse). It’s simple, but it does two things at once and it does both of them very well: it both purees food and separates the pulp from skin and pits or seeds. Cook apples or tomatoes for sauce without peeling or coring them, run them through the mill, and you’ll have sauce in a bowl and the peel and pits and core in the mill. Or use the mill to make lovely mashed potatoes, other vegetable purees, or any kind of smooth (or roughly smooth) soup. It’s not the same as a blender or food processor — food passed through a mill is less homogeneous and therefore often more interesting — and it won’t replace these tools, but it’s simple, inexpensive, efficient, green, and, to my mind, very satisfying to use.

Dorie Greenspan