This handy tool has many uses

It may be called a pickle slicer, but this sharp little multiple-blade cutter will glide through a variety of foods to create even, narrow strips that you can fan out for decorative purposes. And a few modestly fussy garnishes can make a tray of vegetables for dip appear more sophisticated, a salad look more interesting, a sandwich seem more important, and a slice of purchased pâté look as if it was delivered from a neighborhood bistro.

You can use the cutter on pickles, cucumbers, green onions, celery, and radishes (if they’re not too hard). To make the vegetable slices curl apart, after you cut them, immerse them in ice water for 5 to 10 minutes, then drain.

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I’ve seen several kinds of multiple-blade slicers in cookware stores and in markets that sell Asian cooking tools. One that is very sharp is the Eminceur (made in France), which has eight blades. It sells for about $10 and can be ordered from Bridge Kitchenware (800/274-3435).

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