Knife Skills: The Paysanne Cut

vegetable cut for vegetable photo

If you are fan of cooking tv shows, you certainly came across those strange jargon words: paysanne cut, julienne, brunoise and so one…

Cooking means cutting vegetables very often, so you understand that the cut is an essential step in itself. Depending on what you’ve planned to cook, a specific vegetable can make a real difference on the result. For example, to succeed in cooking your carrots evenly, you need to cut all of them at the exact same dimensions. If you decide to roast eggplant, I’de better to slice them at the same thickness unless you’ll get some slices half-cooked and others totally burnt!

What’s the paysanne cut?

Today we’ll have a look at a specific vegetable cut: the paysanne cut. The paysanne cut consists in slices of vegetables about 1 mm thick. It is useful for soups or trims in some aromatic preparations when the cooking time will be short. For example, you’ll use it for the minestrone soup, or sauteing with a little cream to mix with pasta. The paysanne cut ensure a quick and even cooking of your vegetable.

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1. How to cut a carrot a la paysanne for aromatic preparations:

  • Cut carrots in half lengthwise, then again in four quarters.
  • Cut into thin slices of a thickness of 1 mm.
how to cut vegetables technique image

2. Cut a carrot a la paysanne for a soup or a filling:

  • Cut into pieces (for round and long vegetables), trim the section on three sides.
  • Cut the trimmed portion into slices of 1/5 inch (0.5 cm) thick.
  • Then cut the slices into strips of 1/5 inch (0.5 cm) sections.
  • Finally cut the sticks into slices 1 mm thick.

3. Cut a potato a la paysanne for a soup or filling:

  • Cut sections of the potato lengthwise.
  • Cut the sections into “sticks” about half inch wide.
  • Cut the strips into small squares of 1/5 inch (0,5 cm).

Mastering the paysanne cut

These methods above can be applied to all kind of veggies: eggplant, mushrooms, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes… and even fruits! When you master the paysanne cut, you are able to cut a large quantity of ingredients in no time. Be careful your fingers though.

To ensure a better grip while securing your fingertips, use your opposite hand to form a “claw” that maintain the vegetable you are cutting. Your nails should be perpendicular to the surface of the veggie and thus, parallel with the cutting direction. The blade of your knife will rip on the nails in case of a bad move.

A good cutting board is an important tool, without forgetting the chef’s knife which should be well sharpened.

Now that you know more about the paysanne cut, you should definitely look at the julienne cut!

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