Prep School: Working with Winter Vegetables

Cook, In Season, Learn, Primers, Tips & Techniques, Winter

If you’re unsure how to transform a huge head of cauliflower into tiny, bite-sized florets, you’re not alone. Winter vegetables can be bulky, and recipe aren’t always clear on how to prep them properly. Follow these simple steps when working with some of the most popular veggies of the season — broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.





Cut off the leaves and stalks
Using a chef’s knife, trim away any remaining leaves on the broccoli stalk, then cut off the bottom portion of the stalk. (You can peel this lower portion, cut it up and cook it later for another dish.
Cut the broccoli into florets
Using a paring knife, cute the broccoli head into individual florets, each about 1 3/4 inches long. If the florets seem too big when cut from the stalk, cut them gently through the stem end so as not to damage the crown.Learn more about selecting, storing and preparing broccoli.Try some of our amazing broccoli recipes!




Remove the core and leaves
Using a chef’s knife, cut the head of a cauliflower in half vertically to reveal the core. Use a paring knife to cut out the inner core and trim away any green leaves.
Cut the cauliflower into florets
Cut the cauliflower head into florets, each about 1 3/4 inches long. If the stems of the florets seem tough, use the paring knife to peel them.Learn more about selecting, storing and preparing cauliflower.Check out some of delicious cauliflower recipes!




Trim the stem ends
Using a paring knife, trim the stem end of each Brussels sprout. Remove any withered or yellowed leaves.
Cut the Brussels sprouts
Cut larger sprouts into halves or quarters through the core to make them about the same size as the smallest ones. This way, the sprouts will cook at the same rate.Learn more about selecting, storing and preparing Brussels sprouts.Check out some of our favorite Brussels sprout recipes!




Halve the cabbage
Pull off any bruised or wilted outer leaves from a red or green cabbage head. Using a chef’s knife, cut the cabbage in half through the dense inner core. Cabbages can be very compact, so use firm pressure and take care that the head doesn’t roll around on the board.
Quarter the cabbage
To cut the halves into quarters, lay them flat side down on the cutting board and cut them lengthwise through the core.
Remove the core
Lay a cabbage quarter on the cutting board with a cut side facing down. Use a paring knife to cut away the hard core. Repeat with the remaining quarters.
Cut into slices or shreds
Cut each cored cabbage quarter crosswise into thin slices as directed in your recipe, often about 1/4 inch wide. The cabbage will fall apart into “shreds” that can be used for cooking or slaw.Learn more about selecting, storing and preparing cabbage.Check out some of our great cabbage recipes!

4 comments about “Prep School: Working with Winter Vegetables

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