Cutting your vegetables into planes
Cutting vegetables into matchstick-like pieces, or julienned, is easy and this skill is handy to have in your cooking repertoire.
The idea is to plane your vegetable into the length of ‘sticks’ that are needed. In this demo I have planed a squash into 1-inch pieces, 1/4 inch thick, stacked them on top of each other and then started chopping them into matchsticks. This technique works well with English cucumber, carrots, potatoes and other firm vegetables. Be sure to use the control grip with your knife as shown below. This ensures more control over your chopping.
This excerpt from a Wikipedia article on julienning illustrates the first known use of the term ‘julienne’ in print:
“The first known use of the term in print is in François Massialot’s Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois (1722 edition). The origin of the term is uncertain, but may derive from the proper name Jules or Julien. A potage julienne is composed of carrots, beets, leeks, celery, lettuce, sorrel, and chervil cut in strips a half-ligne in thickness and about eight or ten lignes in length. The onions are cut in half and sliced thinly to give curved sections, the lettuce and sorrel minced, in what a modern recipe would term en chiffonade. The root vegetables are briefly sauteed, then all are simmered in stock and the julienne is ladled out over a slice of bread.”