In this article, we will answer the following question: How do you cut onions for spaghetti sauce? We will teach you how to julienne cut and brunoise cut the onions, and also give you a few basic tips for cutting onions.
How do you cut onions for spaghetti sauce?
For spaghetti sauce, we cut the onions into very fine julienne strips or we chop them (brunoise cut) and put them to brown over medium heat in a saucepan with a little butter.
The word “julienne” defines a culinary technique consisting of cutting food into long, thin strips. These are usually about 5 or 6 cm long and 1 or 2 mm wide. To achieve such a fine cut it is essential to have good tools, such as a sharp knife and a cutting board that is stable.
If you decide to chop the onion (brunoise cut), it must be cut on a plastic board since the wooden board is too impregnated with its characteristic smell. The chopped onion is used to prepare different sauces, cooked or raw, and to garnish snacks. The purpose of cutting onions this way is to cook it more quickly and evenly. It is also necessary to use this cut to give the vegetables a more aesthetic and elegant presentation.
Are not salads and garnishes more beautiful when their ingredients are finely and evenly cut? In addition, this type of cut makes it easier for the flavors of raw food to mix and makes it more pleasant to taste.
The julienne cut, along with the brunoise cut (chopping), is one of the most practiced procedures in the kitchen. Surely you have ever performed the action of julienne, even if you did not know the name of what you were doing. The foods that most frequently ask us to cut into julienne are vegetables, such as onion, pepper, leek, carrot … However, we can also make this cut to fruits and other vegetables, such as mushrooms.
How to julienne cut the onion?
First of all, we will always use a very sharp knife, preferably a large one. We will also need to have a cutting board that remains stable on the work table, that does not move or swing.
- We wash the onions well so that it does not present any traces of earth or other types of dirt.
- If it has a rounded shape, we place the onion on the table or the cutting board. To do this we cut one side of it and rest it on that part, which will have been flatter.
- We slide the knife gently over the vegetable making longitudinal cuts. The thickness of the cut will be more or less fine depending on the needs of the recipe that we are preparing. Remember to put the fingers of the hand holding the onion inwards. Hide the fingertips and keep the knuckles out. In this way, we will avoid cutting ourselves.
How to brunoise cut the onion?
- Peel the outer skin of the vegetable and cut it in two lengthwise.
- Lay the cut base on a board, in this way it will be very stable.
- Look at the area where the roots grow and make vertical cuts parallel to each other, without reaching the end. The root zone will hold the cuts together.
- Place your hand flat on the half onion so that it does not move and now make three horizontal cuts from bottom to top.
- Finally, cut again vertically from right to left. In a simple way you will get onion cubes of equal size.
The final trick: The sharper the knife, the less irritating substances will be projected and in this way you will avoid uncomfortable itching and tearing eyes.
Basic tips for cutting onions
- Chopped onions are often used to prepare sauces, cooked or raw, and also to decorate the typical snacks made with dough.
- Onions cut in hoops are sliced thinly, then the rings are separated and put as a garnish.
- Half moons cut onions – The onion is split in half, horizontally; in turn, each half is cut into thin slices and so they are used for salads.
- Yellow onions have a long shelf life as long as the conditions are right: If they are not going to be used at the moment, the first layer should not come off. They should be left in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place, and protected from sunlight.
- Onions absorb moisture from other produce, take that into account.
- Due to their strong aroma, it is recommended not to store them together with food susceptible to being contaminated such as apples, pears, and celery.
- When cut, onions release sulfuric acid. This substance is the cause of tearing. Use a sharp, wet knife. This will prevent your eyes from crying. Also, a glass of water on the side helps to avoid annoying tearing. Read more about it here.
When cutting onions for spaghetti sauce you have two options: either julienne or brunoise cut. Both methods ensure a fine cut, that is both handly and aesthetically pleasing.
No matter the method you like most, an onion must be cut on a plastic board since the wooden board is too impregnated with its characteristic smell. The chopped onion is used to prepare different sauces, cooked or raw, and to garnish snacks.
The purpose of cutting onions this way is to cook it more quickly and evenly. It is also necessary to use this cut to give the vegetables a more aesthetic and elegant presentation.
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