The long, conical shape and dense texture of carrots make them a challenge to cut uniformly. Here’s how to slice, dice, and julienne them into same-size pieces that look attractive and cook at the same rate.
Tip: Get a Grip
We employ the “pinch grip” for the cuts below. This means pinching the blade with your thumb and forefinger where it meets the handle, which gives you the most control and leverage over the whole length of the knife.
HOW TO DICE
1. Make Manageable-Size Pieces
Peel carrots and trim tops and ends, then cut each into 2- to 3-inch lengths.
2. Create Flat Side
With blade parallel to carrot, rest front of blade on end of carrot farthest away from you. Hold carrot with claw grip and apply downward pressure while moving blade forward to cut plank. Plank thickness will depend on desired size of dice (1⁄4 inch thick for 1⁄4-inch dice, 1⁄2 inch thick for 1⁄2-inch dice, etc.).
3. Cut Planks
Lay piece on newly created flat side and slice more planks of equal thickness. As you cut, keep tip of knife blade in contact with cutting board using rocking motion: As heel of knife goes down, blade slices forward; then, blade slides back as heel is lifted up.
Stack several planks (including original plank sliced to create flat side). Using same cutting motion as above, cut sticks equal in thickness to planks.
5. Turn and Chop
Neatly bundle some sticks together, turn 90 degrees, and cut crosswise to complete size of dice desired.
Tip: The Modified "Claw"
To prevent stacked planks from slipping, use middle and index fingers to guide knife blade, and press pinkie and thumb against either end of stack.
HOW TO JULIENNE
Follow steps 1 through 4 above, cutting carrots into lengths, then 1⁄8-inch-thick planks, and finally 1⁄8-inch-thick sticks, or julienne.
HOW TO SLICE
Hold whole carrot with claw grip and hold knife perpendicular to carrot. With tip of blade on cutting board and middle of blade on carrot, make even slices of desired thickness by pushing blade down and forward through carrot.
A bias cut creates extra surface area for browning and allows you to create uniform pieces. Use same motions as for slicing, but position knife at 45-degree angle relative to carrot. Change angle to vary length and surface area of slices; sharper angles create more elongated slices.