KNOWING HOW TO CHOP PROPERLY CAN CONSIDERABLY CUT DOWN ON PREPARATION TIME. A SHARP KITCHEN KNIFE IS KEY, OF COURSE. BUT THERE’S MORE TO IT THAN THAT. EVERY CHEF KNOWS THAT PRESENTATION IS WIDLY IMPORTANT - ITS THE FIRST IMPRESSION A DINER GETS AND IT MATTERS. WHICH IS WHY I ALWAYS HAVE CHOPPED VEGETABLES IN A RATHER ORGANIC WAY. TURNING THEM A BIT WITH EACH CHOP TO CREATE IRREGULAR SHAPES (NOT IRREGULAR SIZES). I HAVE NEVER BEEN A FAN OF TOMATOES CUT INTO WEDGES OR BEETS SLICED INTO THICK ROUNDS, NEITHER ARE THE MOST APPETIZING WAYS TO PRESENT THESE WONDERFUL VEGETABLES.
To chop a beet into bite sized chunks, first trim and discard the ends. Cut the beet in half lengthwise and chop into 1/2 inch pieces, turning the beet slightly after each cut so that the pieces are not uniform in shape.
My unorthodox technique for chopping onions wouldn’t fly at Le Cordon Blue, but it goes much faster once you get it down! To cut onions into slivers, trim the ends and halve lengthwise. Peel away the papery skin. Lay an onion half, cut side down, on the cutting board with a trimmed end facing you. Working from one side to the other, slice the onion into 1/8 inch thick slices.
To dice an onion, trim the ends and halve lengthwise. Peel away the papery skin. Place an onion half, cut side down, on a cutting board, with the trimmed ends on the left and right. Working from one end to the other, cut the onion into 1/4 inch thick slices. Turn the onion so that a trimmed end is facing you and working from one side to the other, slice again 1/4 inch thick, creating 1/4 inch dice. As you reach the halfway mark, turn the onion on its side and work from right to left again
if you are a righty, begin chopping to the far right of the chopping board and work to the left so that you avoid the temptation to scrape the chopped vegetables away with your knife, which dulls the blade. If you’re a lefty, do the opposite.