I enjoy chopping things but have no notable knife skills, no tuck, no game, but no shame either. I’ve always found julienning fruits and vegetables to be difficult, just a lot of very precise cutting that’s not going to come easily to someone who didn’t mince their way through hours of knife skills class in cooking school. When a recipe wants me to julienne something, I sign, inwardly groan and usually take out either this slicer and then spend 32 minutes looking for the julienne blade or I use this peeler, which is fantastic but limited to long skinny strands.
Here’s my a-ha moment: If you can slice a vegetable, you can julienne:
Take any fruit or vegetable. Slice it thinly on the diagonal.
Stack a handful of the slices at a time and slice them thinly again into matchsticks — the long way for longer strips, the short way for shorter strips.
That’s it! It’s so quick, easy and requires not a single extra consideration when chopping that I don’t even bother with my julienne slicer anymore.
Smitten Kitchen Tips, A Reintroduction: Prior to the redesign, I collected my favorite cooking tips in a side blog that basically nobody ever saw, which was a shame as what if you needed to make your own baking powder, buttermilk substitute, brown sugar or cake flour, or to use a kitchen scale and ditch your measuring cups/spoons forever? I was there to help all along! As part of the redesign, I wanted to fold them back onto this main page and feed. Posts are denoted as tips (vs. recipes, announcements or notes) on the tag over the top photos.
All cooking tips (and recipes, to be honest) can go three ways: 1. “Whoa, I’d never considered that before. Thank you!” 2. “Hmm, that’s interesting! But, I’m perfectly happy doing things the way I’ve always been doing them.” 3. “Duh! Everyone knows this. I’ve been doing things this way forever.” I’m throwing this out there because I’ve been having a debate with myself over whether my julienning breakthrough is just some bit of common sense everyone has that had (see: 3) previously eluded me or whether it is for others what it was for me (see: 1). For the sake of this and all tips, let’s pretend the latter.