by Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan
Rondelles are simple rounds or ovals cut from conical or cylindrical vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, cucumbers or burdock. Because the width of these vegetables varies along their length, the pieces cut from them will be of variable diameters; for this reason, there can be no precise dimensions for rondelles.
Rondelles are typically anywhere from 1/8 to 1/2 inch (3 to 12 mm) thick. When deciding how thick or thin to make your pieces, consider the cooking method you intend to use, bearing in mind that thicker pieces take longer to cook than thin pieces. Rondelles intended for a dish that will be cooked over high heat for a short time, such as a saute or stir-fry, will benefit from a thinner cut. For a dish that will be cooked more slowly over lower heat (such as glazed carrots), a thicker cut would be better.
To demonstrate the technique, we'll use a carrot.
Recommended Knife: Chef's knife or Santoku
Peel the carrot, if desired, and trim off the ends. Steady the carrot with your guide hand in the claw position.
With the knife blade flush against your guide fingers, cut a round of the desired thickness.
Repeat step 2, taking care to make each successive piece the same thickness, until the entire carrot is cut into rondelles.
To make ovals, or bias cuts, hold the knife at an angle to the carrot (or vice versa), rather than perpendicular. The sharper the angle, the longer the ovals will be. You'll end up with slightly more waste from the end pieces, but only slightly more.
For more decorative rondelles, scrape the vegetable in several places along its length, using a fork, zester, peeler or channel knife, before cutting it into rounds or ovals.
This page created January 2011
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