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vegetable preparation tips
(return to food)

Here are some ideas for preparing and cutting vegetables. If you have more suggestions, please write to us and we will add them to this article.

Cavolo - Cabbage
The cabbage will be gently and briefly cooked by pouring hot vinegar over it. The slicing technique, called a chiffonade, simply refers to rolling the leaves, several at a time, for easy, even slicing.

1 medium red cabbage
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Water at room temperature

Quarter the cabbage and cut away the tough white core. Take a few cabbage leaves at a time and roll them together neatly. Slice the roll 1/4-inch thick, until you have about two cups of sliced cabbage.

Place the cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle it with salt. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil and pour it over the salted cabbage. Add enough water to completely submerge the cabbage and set aside for 10 or 15 minutes before draining and dressing.

see also...
heart healthy recipes
spring veggies
fall veggies
winter veggies
vegetable preparation tips

Carote - Carrots
We want carrots that are thinly sliced but not shredded -- in other words, a "matchstick" julienne. The easiest way to accomplish that is with a device known as a mandoline, a kind of little slide with a very sharp blade. But you can do it by hand, too, with a sturdy chef's knife.

2 large carrots

Peel the carrots. Cut then into 4-inch sections and halve each section. With a mandoline or knife, cut them into julienned strips about the shape of a wooden matchstick. About two cups. Set aside.

Pomodori Romani - Roma Tomatoes
Tomatoes are at their most tender in salads when they've been peeled. The technique uses boiling water to loosen the skin. Cut away the core at the very end of the tomato and crisscross the other end to give the water the ready access that will allow it to loosen the skin in seconds. The trick is to avoid cooking them.

4 to 6 medium plum tomatoes, peeled and quartered
bowl of ice or ice water

In a saucepan boil enough water to completely submerge the tomatoes. Cut away the hard bit of core at the end of the tomato and cut a small crisscross shape into the skin at the other end without damaging the flesh. Plunge the tomatoes into the water for about 10 seconds. When the skin at the crisscross begins to curl it means the skin is loosening, and at this point, remove the tomato. Place the tomatoes on ice or in chilled water briefly to stop the cooking action. With a paring knife or your fingers gently peel away the skin. Quarter the tomatoes, sprinkle them with salt to remove some excess moisture from the flesh and set them aside.

Cetrioli - Cucumbers
The large so-called seedless or English cucumbers were once difficult to find but are widely available now. "Seedless" is a misnomer, there are seeds. They are just smaller than in other varieties, and should be removed

1 large seedless cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise
a grapefruit spoon which has cutting edges

Cut the cucumber into 4-inch sections and halve each section. Using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds. Slice the cucumber 1/4-inch thick. There should be about two cups. Place the slices in a strainer over a bowl. Salt the cucumber liberally to remove the excess moisture. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.

Funghi - Mushrooms
In preparing mushrooms, some people advise not to wash them The trick is to simply wipe away any excess soil with a paper towel or damp cloth towel. I wash them.

8 large whole button mushrooms

Remove the stems and discard them. Slice the mushrooms 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. There should be about two cups.


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