How to Slice and Pare Fruits and Vegetables

How to Slice and Pare Fruits and Vegetables

Recipes containing fruits and vegetables often ask you to cut or peel them. For example, to create an all-American apple pie, you first have to peel the apple and then slice it.
Cutting fruits and vegetables
Slicing is the most common and most important knife task. There are only two things to consider:
If you’re chopping hard, round vegetables, such as onions or winter squash, cut one side flat first so that it doesn’t roll on the cutting board.
Take your time to get evenly thick pieces, whether you’re chopping an onion or a pineapple. Doing so makes the food look better and cook evenly.
Peeling fruits and vegetables
Peeling is one of the only chopping tasks you do while holding the ingredient in your hand. Don’t worry – you don’t need a first aid kit nearby! Your hands are designed for this kind of work. Peeling means removing the peel from fruits and vegetables as well as carving them into decorative shapes.
They can be small items, such as leeks and garlic, or larger items such as apples and tomatoes. Above all, a paring knife should be sharp enough to perform well.
To prepare an apple, for example, hold it in one hand, barely pressing it in the palm of your hand, with fingers fixed to the surface (outside where the cutting is done). Pierce the peel of the apple with a paring knife and carefully peel it toward you, slowly rotating the apple with your thumb. Spiral all the way down.
Although fruits and vegetables come in different shapes, the technique for holding and slicing food toward you is the same. Do you need a visual to help you figure out the best way to cut your hair? Watch this video on how to use a paring knife.