How to cut vegetables into a perfect brunoise?
Using a mandoline can make the task a fast one indeed; however, if you do not have one, try to carefully slice even strips, then cut the strips lengthwise to make skinny threads of vegetables (also called ‘Julienne’). Then cut the threads making little cubes - a brunoise. (See pictures below)
Leeks are by far the easiest vegetable to cut into a brunoise or julienne.
Cut the leeks as shown (see picture 1). Make an incision lengthwise through half of the leek (see picture 2). Remove the heart of the leek, unfold layers and flatten gently using your fingers. Slowly, cut threads (julienne), then into cubes to make the perfect brunoise.
You may also come across the word 'Mirepoix' and it is the selection of Celery, Onion and Carrot cut into a brunoise. Usually the fragrant source for stocks, soups and sauces in Michelin-Star Restaurants.
Knowing the French and their endeavour to make everything prefect (in fact, complicated), and sound how so wonderful (and strange at the same time), mushrooms cut into a brunoise is also called 'Duxelle', and it is usually cooked slowly until all the liquid has evaporated and is used to stuff vegetables (especially baby new potatoes - my all-time favourite, served with Provençal Rack of Lamb, and ratatouille) or to make mushroom sauces, or crusts.
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Olivier is a Michelin trained chef, a registered Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist, embracing fully his passion for good food and healthy eating.