How to Make a Roll Cut (and Why)

Try this simple cut to make attractive, even-cooking pieces out of long vegetables.

The roll cut (also known as the oblique cut) is used on long vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, cucumbers, or zucchini to create pieces with two angled sides. It has two chief benefits: It creates more surface area for heat to penetrate so that food cooks faster, and for tapered vegetables, it allows you to fashion pieces that cook at the same rate, since the degree to which you angle the knife dictates how much surface area is exposed. (Wider angles create more surface area; sharper angles create less.) The exposed surfaces are ideal for applications such as glazing, stir-frying, or roasting. In addition, the cut creates pieces that are attractive without being identical, lending visual appeal to stews, soups, or even crudités platters. 

  1. Starting at 1 end, hold knife at about 45-degree angle (relative to vegetable) and make diagonal cut.

  2. Roll vegetable 90 degrees (quarter turn) and cut again at same angle.

  3. Continue rolling and cutting along length of vegetable. For tapered vegetables, position knife to make angles more obtuse at thin end and more acute at thick end. 

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