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16 Genius Salads Using A Box Grater

Your box grater can be doing so much more for you than just shredding cheese.

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Box graters = power.

Yes, that bulky metal tool you reserve for shredding cheese (probably because the pre-shredded kind is so expensive!), is actually the superpower you've been seeking for next-level lunches. Here are some of our favorites, including ones from our new cookbook, Power Vegetables!, out October 18.


4. Soy Sauce Kimchi-Style Dressing

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A blast from the past (aka our cookbook 101 Easy Asian Recipes): You know how it’s really, like, cool to ferment things these days? And how you want to be cool too, but you don’t actually ever do enough planning in advance do it? This is the solution for you! It’s basically a make-ahead salad dressing with kimchi flavors. Great on chopped napa cabbage—or anything you want to taste just a little bit more like kimchi. Recipe here.

5. Daikon With XO Sauce

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The perfect combination of spicy and refreshing. This is a recipe pinched from Ivan Orkin’s restaurant Ivan Ramen, where he shreds the daikon on a mandoline, aka the rich man’s box grater. (Even if they are only $15 and every household should have one.) The XO is a little bit involved, so if you’re looking for total ease, search out prepared XO at a Chinese grocery or spicy garlicky condiment called taberu rayu at a Japanese one. Recipe here.

6. Mango Jicama Salad

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The flavors of this salad are elote-inspired: chili powder, crumbly cheese, and lime. But in place of corn there’s fresh, crunchy jicama and a just-shy-of-ripe mango, the kind they always have in the supermarket, tough enough to withstand the box grater’s power. Sweet, tangy, and spicy, this needs to be in your side salad arsenal. Recipe here.


7. Celery Root, Fennel, and Parsley Salad

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This salad is inspired by one at the New York restaurants called Frankies Spuntino. A secret to this—and any salad with herbs in it—is to overplay your hand: lots of herbs means lots of flavor and lots of freshness. And everybody likes that in a salad. Recipe here.

8. Off-Brand Horsey Sauce

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Here’s what to do with the fresh horseradish once you’ve eaten your fill of cocktail sauce. (Which, hack of hacks, is nothing more than ketchup + horseradish.) This dressing is punchy and assertive, and is great on aggressively spicy greens like arugula. If you drench a steak in it, your friends will sing songs about you, like the heroes of yore. Recipe here.

9. Grated Thai Salad

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This is a dumbed-down version of a Chiang Mai-style salad that Andy Ricker serves at Pok Pok. You want authenticity? You go see him. You want a delicious idea for what to do with your box grater? You’re in the right place. The coconut milk vinaigrette is the sort of thing you might find yourself sneaking onto even simpler salads after you start with this one. Recipe here.

10. Cucumber-Yogurt Dressing

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Raita, the Indian condiment, inspired this creamy, fresh-tasting dressing. Traditionally raita is a respite from spice; in a salad setting we like to partner its cooling power with gentle soft lettuces that have names that start with the letter “b,” like bibb, Boston, or butter. Recipe here.

11. Marinated Carrot Salad

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This side dish is inspired by a salad that’s served all over Central Asia and the former Soviet Union. There, it’s referred to as “Korean” salad—but it’s not Korean or even Korean-ish at all. Murky origins aside, it’s a great make-ahead option; the carrots take well to the overnight marination. Recipe here.


12. Parsley and Radish Salad with Bagna Cauda

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Bagna Cauda is a warm dip for vegetables. (Translated from the Italian, its name is “hot bath,” but that’s way Bed, Bath & Beyond what we’ve ever done with it.) Here it adds big flavor to a pile of shredded radish. Turn the lights down low, stick a candle in a straw-wrapped bottle of Chianti, and eat it with a plate of your favorite easy pasta. Buon Appetito! [kissing fingers bouquet motion] Recipe here.

13. Shaved Zucchini with Tofu Vinaigrette

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You know what sounds terrible? Raw zucchini and tofu dressing. You know what your new favorite salad is? Zucchini and tofu. Use the slicing side of your box grater to render the zucchini into rounds, then whip up some silken tofu with a few Asian pantry staples to turn it into a creamy, umami-rich dressing. Recipe here.

14. Celery Root Remoulade

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This is the pret a porter rendition of remoulade, that fusty old classic French dressing. We’ve stripped it to its barest form — mayo and mustard and a sprinkle of chives, but you could add little spoonfuls of chopped pickles, capers, or anchovies to it if you were so inclined. It’s the perfect partner for that crisp, crunchy celeriac. Recipe here.

15. Grated Squash Salad

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Half of Lucky Peach found this salad to be fall AF; the other thought it was too reminiscent of the smell that accompanies the disappointment of doing a bad job carving a pumpkin at Halloween yet again. For those in the former camp, know that box-grating squash shreds it just fine enough to be tender, not chewy. Serve this salad as a super-fast side for roast chicken. Recipe here.


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