Knowing how to cut vegetables is important. When sauteing or making soup the goal is to have all vegetables be cooked evenly and finish at the same time. This can be accomplished by knowing the different cuts of vegetables. Vegetables have different densities and vary in cooking time. (Eg. Spinach cooks faster than a carrot. A fine julienne of carrots cook with spinach would cook in approximately the same amount of time.
Batonnet; Translated from French means “little stick” and sometimes called french fry cut. The batonnet measures approximately 1/4 inch x 1/4 inch x 2-2.5 inches (6mm x 6mm x 5-6cm). It is also the starting point for the small dice.
Julienne; Referred to as the Allumette when dealing with potatoes, and sometimes also called the “matchstick cut” (which is the translation of “allumette” from French), the julienne measures approximately 1/8 inch × 1/8 inch × 1-2 inches (3mm × 3mm × 3-5cm). It is also the starting point for the brunoise cut.
Fine julienne; The fine julienne measures approximately 1/16 inch × 1/16 inch × 1-2 inches (1.5mm × 1.5mm × 3-5cm), and is the starting point for the fine brunoise cut.
Chiffonade means little ribbons in French, referring to the little ribbons formed from finely cutting the leaves in this technique.
Cuts with six even sides include:
Large dice (Carré); sides measuring approximately ¾ inch (2cm).
Medium dice (Parmentier); sides measuring approximately ½ inch (1.25cm).
Small dice (Macédoine); sides measuring approximately ¼ inch (6mm).
Brunoise; sides measuring approximately 1/8 inch (3mm).
Fine Brunoise; sides measuring approximately 1/16 inch (1.5mm).
Paysanne; ½ inch x ½ inch x 1/8 inch (1cm x 1cm x 3mm) Paysanne translates as Peasant, but the sizes are far more flexible.
Lozenge; diamond shape, ½ inch x ½ inch x 1/8 inch (1cm x 1cm x 3mm)
Fermière; cut lengthwise and then sliced to desired thickness, 1/8-½ inch (3mm to 1cm)
Rondelle; cut to desired thickness, 1/8-½ inch (3mm to 1cm)
Tourné; 2 inches (5cm) long with seven faces.