Chopped vegetables on cutting board

Because of the many measuring cups and spoons available, determining the correct amount of a necessary ingredient for a recipe can be tricky. Fortunately, measuring vegetables is fairly straightforward and can be accomplished with tools that are often found in the kitchen. With the correct measuring cup, a clear understanding of culinary vocabulary and practice with a good knife, it's easy to measure vegetables.

Lay out a clean, dry cutting board and choose the knife that is best suited for your vegetable. Large or thick vegetables will require a sturdier knife while more pliable vegetables can be easily prepared with a smaller paring knife. Ensure that the knife is sharp. Not only will a dull knife be aggravating when chopping, it is also dangerous.

Determine how the vegetables need to be prepared. A recipe usually calls for a dice, fine dice or julienne. A chiffonade is used in herbs or other leafy greens, usually when the green will be eaten raw.

Cut the vegetables into more manageable pieces before you begin to break them down into the form required for the recipe. Halve onions, heads of cabbage or other round vegetables and put the cut side down, preventing the vegetable from rolling.

Run the knife through the vegetable keeping the front of the blade on the cutting board if the recipe calls for a rough chop.

Dice vegetables by chopping in one direction, then turn the knife 90 degrees and chop again. Place the knife closer with each cut for a finer dice since the distance between each cut will determine how big the pieces will be.

Julienne food by laying the food flat on the board and slicing it in small strips.

Make a chiffonade by stacking the leaves of a green together and rolling them tightly. Cut across the green to form thin ribbons, or a chiffonade.

Scoop the cut vegetables into a 1-cup measuring cup, packing down as necessary to ensure accuracy. If a 1-cup measuring cup is not available, you may use a smaller quantity. However, remember that 1 cup is still necessary, so if using a 1/3 cup, fill the cup three times for 1cup of chopped vegetables.