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How to Slice, Dice, and Chop Vegetables and Herbs

Martha Stewart Living, October 1996

Here are some basic professional techniques for chopping vegetables and herbs.

Always use a sharp chef's knife, and tuck under the fingertips holding the food to keep them from getting nicked. For julienne or very small dice, begin by slicing a vegetable very thinly lengthwise. To make julienne, stack several thin slices on top of each other, and slice them into matchsticks; to dice, gather the matchsticks together and chop them into equal pieces.

"Chiffonade" refers to very thin strips of lettuce or herbs, like these basil leaves. Stack several leaves, with the largest on the bottom. Roll them up, and thinly slice them from one end of the roll to the other.

The best way to chop an onion is to start by cutting it in half from top to bottom; then place the cut halves, flat side down, on a work surface, and slice off the stem ends. Remove the skin, and make vertical cuts lengthwise without cutting through the root end, which holds the onion together as you work. Make a few horizontal cuts from the cut edge toward the root end, then chop across the onion to make cubes.


Comments (1)

  • LyndaDenise 28 Mar, 2014

    On chopping an onion I've found a tip that's helpful in keeping a hold of the onion better. Cut the onion in half top through root and instead of cutting off the root, peel back the top layer of onion over the root and hold onto that while making your slices or for dicing cutting several times from close to the root to tip then cutting across all layers.