The Art of Brunoise

Brunoise ("broon-WAZ"), those perfect little restaurant-worthy diced vegetables, are surprisingly easy to make. All you need is a thin, sharp knife and a logical approach: Think of it as "fileting" to tame your unruly produce—awkward peppers, roly-poly carrots, lumpy apples—into neat, dice-friendly pieces. For the pepper, cut off top and bottom so that you have an even cylinder that stands flat. Next, open the pepper by slicing lengthwise down the cylinder. Now cut your filet: Hold the strip flat on the board, skin side down, slice away the core, ribs, and seeds, then run the knife between the meat of the pepper and the skin to slice off and remove skin. (The same principle applies to other produce. Trim odd shapes down to easy-to-manage blocks, and slice filets from these pieces.) Finally, dice the filet: Slice the piece of pepper into little sticks (en batonnets, as the French say), then line the sticks up and cut them crosswise. Voila! Brunoise!