Tips from The Kitchn

15 Important Things to Know About Prepping Vegetables

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

It doesn't matter if you're a vegan, vegetarian, or an omnivore — there's very little doubt that if you're making dinner, you're going to be prepping some vegetables tonight. So be sure to check out these 15 tips, techniques, and tools that will help guide you toward vegetable mastery or, at the very least, some really perfect julienne slices.

Image Credit: Samantha Bolton

1. Here's What 1 Pound of Vegetables Looks Like

What happens when a recipe calls for two pounds of potatoes? Do you have any idea what that looks like? What about onions, or kale, or cucumbers? We weighed nine of the most common vegetables out to a pound and then took a picture so you can train your eye to know, at a glance, just what it looks like. (You're welcome.)

Image Credit: Christine Han

2. Learn Just What a Julienne Looks Like

Knowing the basics is important, and top on that list is understanding what recipes mean when they call for various cuts. Here we give you a visual for the julienne cut.

Image Credit: Christine Han

3. Learn Just What a Fine Chop Looks Like

When a recipe calls for a finely chopped onion, do you know what it means? And how is a fine chop different from a regular chop? Here's your guide.

Image Credit: Christine Han

4. Learn Just What Minced Looks Like

Recipes often called for minced garlic and other vegetables, but what exactly does that look like? Is it smaller than finely chopped? How much smaller? Here is your visual guide to the mince.

Image Credit: Christine Han

5. Learn Just What a Dice Looks Like

A dice cut refers to ingredients cut to a small, uniformly sized square, resembling a die. This is your visual on what a standard dice looks like.

Image Credit: Christine Han

6. Learn Just What a Chop Looks Like

What savory recipe doesn't begin with "one medium onion, chopped"? So what exactly does it mean to chop something and how is that different from other cuts like dice and mince? Take a look!

Image Credit: Brittany Cerullo

7. The 11 Tools That Make Vegetables Fun

We've gathered 11 of our favorite kitchen gadgets to show just how enjoyable meal prep can be. From the spiralizer to the corn zipper, these gadgets will help you make short shrift of shredding, slicing, and dicing your vegetables.

Image Credit: Andrea Bemis

8. This Is the Fastest Way to Grate Any Vegetable

Have you ever passed on a recipe because it involved grating countless cabbages, carrots, onions? Surely there has to be a faster, better way than standing over a box grater for the better part of the afternoon? Well, turns out there is!

Image Credit: Kelli Foster

9. The One Thing to Do with Vegetables and Fruit Before Baking

Have you ever experienced vegetables releasing too much water into your beautiful quiche, rendering it watery and separated and not at all appetizing? This surprising technique will help with that and a many other weepy vegetable scenarios. Check it out!

Image Credit: Rachel Joy Barehl

10. This 10-Minute Technique Means You'll Never Waste Vegetables Again

Have you ever been faced with a lingering carrot, half an onion, or two radishes that have been hanging out in the crisper for a smidge too long that you would really prefer not to throw away? Here's a simple technique that will use up your food waste and give you a delicious, bright, tangy garnish!

Image Credit: Ramon L. Farinos/Shutterstock

11. Why You Shouldn't Peel (Most of) Your Vegetables

Do you routinely peel your vegetables without really thinking about it? Well, perhaps you should hold off on scraping off all of that nutritious, flavorful stuff! Here's our guide to when you should (and when you shouldn't) peel your veg.

Image Credit: Christine Gallary

12. 5 Ways to Make Cut Fruits and Vegetables Last Longer

We all know that preparing a bunch vegetables ahead of time and stashing them in the refrigerator means we'll eat more of those healthy foods and make more home-cooked meals with them. But making sure that they stay fresh is sometimes an issue. Here are five ways to assure your pre-prepped foods stay as fresh as possible.

Image Credit: Christine Han

13. How To Dice Almost Anything

Dicing up vegetables is a basic skill that all cooks need. The good news is that the more you do it, the better you'll get. The even better news is we have a few helpful tricks and techniques to get you on your way quickly.

Image Credit: Rachel Joy Barehl

14. 4 Reasons to Have a Julienne Peeler in Your Kitchen

A julienne peeler is like a smaller, simpler alternative to a spiralizer. It's basically just a peeler with serrated teeth that you drag along vegetables to make ribbons and noodles. Here are four reasons to run out and get yourself this handy little tool!

Image Credit: ayelet-keshet/Shutterstock

15. Yes, You Do Have to Salt Your Eggplant

Haven't you always wondered if the pre-salting and draining of eggplant could be an optional step? (Sheela did, and she has opinions.) Hali, on the other hand, thinks it's a very necessary thing to do. Time to wade into the Ancient Salted Eggplant Debate!