How to Make Thin Strips of Vegetables for a Salad


Julienned or matchstick vegetables add a colorful topping to a salad and supply an edible garnish. You can cut all the ingredients of the salad, including the greens, into strips or just a few of the vegetables to provide different shapes and textures for presentation. The process of cutting foods into thin slices varies slightly depending on the type of vegetable. Use a sharp knife when making these narrow cuts to ensure clean cuts and to reduce the chance of the knife slipping and causing injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Wash the vegetables under cool water. Dry leaf vegetables, such as lettuce and herbs, after washing. Peel vegetables like carrots and cucumbers, and then slice off their ends. Cut off the top and bottom of onions, cut them in half lengthwise, and then peel off the outer skin from each half. For peppers, cut out the stem and remove the seeds.

  • Cut carrots and long, straight vegetables, like cucumbers and zucchini, lengthwise into 1/8-inch thick, rectangular slices. Lay the slices flat on the cutting board and cut each slice into 1/8-inch thick sticks. Trim the sticks down to the desired length.

  • Set an onion half flat-side down on the cutting board. Cut the the onion half lengthwise from root end to top, making 1/8-inch wide slices. Angle the knife as you cut to follow the curve of the onion so the slices remain uniform in size. Repeat on the remaining onion half.

  • Slice narrow peppers in half and large peppers into quarters so you have relatively flat segments. Lay each pepper segment flat on the cutting board and slice it lengthwise into 1/8-inch pieces.

  • Stack two or three leafy greens or herb leafs on top of each other. Roll them lengthwise into a cigar shape. Slice across the rolled leaves lengthwise, making 1/8-inch wide strips.

Tips & Warnings

  • Although the usual julienne cut is typically 1/8-inch wide, you can make it thicker or thinner, as you wish.

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