How to Cut Spring and Summer Vegetables with Video
How to Cut Vegetables
Meal prep usually means plenty of vegetables that need slicing and dicing, but not all veggies are created equal in that regard. We’ve got you covered with this quick and easy guide to cut vegetables properly, every time.
You’ll want the following tools ready to use for the veggies below: a sharp chef’s knife; a pair of kitchen shears or sharp, clean scissors; a vegetable peeler and a cutting board.
Using a sharp knife is important, since a blunt knife requires more force to cut, gets a worse result and is more dangerous to use. Always hand-wash your knives, rather than running them through the dishwasher, to keep them sharp for longer.
If you’re looking for a new chef’s knife or paring knife, you can browse our selection of knives here. And if you’re looking for a cutting board, you can check out our handy guide to find the right one for you, then shop our selection of cutting boards.
How to Cut an Artichoke
Artichokes can be a little prickly, but with the right technique you’ll have them prepped and ready in no time. Here’s how to prepare an artichoke:
- Start by using your chef’s knife to remove the top of the artichoke, then use shears or scissors to trim off the tough tips of the leaves.
- Peel off the tough exterior of the stem using your vegetable peeler and use your chef’s knife to chop off the end of the stem (it’s tough and inedible).
- Now your artichoke is ready for steaming, or it can be broken down further if you’re using the hearts in a recipe.
To store artichokes, don’t rinse them – just place in a zip-top bag or food storage container and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.
How to Prepare Fresh Herbs
Dried herbs are convenient to use, but for the best flavor it’s hard to beat fresh. Hard-stemmed and soft-stemmed herbs require different techniques, but both are easy to prepare with just a little work.
For hard-stemmed herbs like thyme, pull your fingers along the stem with a firm grip to separate the leaves from the stems. Make a little pile of the leaves and chop to the fineness you need.
For soft-stemmed herbs like parsley, cilantro or basil, you can use your knife to remove the leaves from the stems and discard the stems after. Form a pile of the leaves to dice – one tip for easier dicing is to roll the leaves into a little bundle, making them easier to chop.
To store fresh herbs, place in the crisper drawer of your fridge in a zip-top bag or food storage container. Make sure to use them within a day or two of prepping them, as they can spoil quickly.
How to Cut Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are versatile, delicious and easy to chop, once you know the secret. Here’s how to do it:
- Use your chef’s knife to remove the top and bottom of the pepper. Stand the pepper up and slice completely through one side.
- “Unroll” the pepper on your cutting board, using your knife to trim out the core and ribs.
- Slice the pepper into strips (which are great for dipping or serving as part of a charcuterie board) and dice to the fineness your recipe needs. It’s easier to slice bell peppers from the inside layer, rather than the skin side.
- You can also dice the bottom of the pepper, too – it’s just as delicious.
You can store bell peppers in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, in a zip-top bag or food storage container, for 2-3 days after prepping them.
How to Cut Corn Off the Cob
When it comes to summer sides, nothing beats fresh corn, but what if you’re making a corn salad or using it in homemade salsa? In just a minute or two, you can take those kernels off the cob for use on their own, or in your favorite summer recipe.
- It’s easiest to hold the corncob vertically and slice downward to remove the kernels, which means you’ll need to prepare your cutting surface a little differently. We recommend placing a clean kitchen towel on top of a large cutting board or sheet pan.
- Cut off the stem of the cob, then shuck the corn and remove any corn silk.
- Stand the corn up on the stem end, then carefully slice down the cob, turning and repeating until all kernels are removed.
- Use the towel to transfer your kernels into a bowl or pot.
Store corn kernels in the fridge in a zip-top bag or food storage container for up to 2 days after prepping them.