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Master these food-prep skills

Chopping an onion

Use this technique to ensure uniform pieces of onion. If you want a larger, rougher chop, make all of your slices farther apart, for a smaller dice or a mince, keep them closer together. Cut the stem off the onion, then cut in half through the root and remove the skin. Slice into the onion crosswise from bottom to top. Then, slice across the onion lengthwise (don't cut through the root). Lastly, turn the onion and chop from right to left, parallel to the root, into pieces.

Stripping kale

The central rib is tough and unpleasant to eat. Remove it by simply holding both sides of the leaf, with the stalk in the middle, and quickly pulling upwards. 

Cutting against the grain

Whether your meat is raw or cooked, it's essential to cut it against the grain, otherwise the muscle fibers will not be sliced and the meat will be tough. Follow the thin muscle fiber lines of the meat (look closely) and slice across them, perpendicularly.

Smashing garlic

Smash the clove for easy removal of the skin. Line up the palm of your hand with the blunt side of the knife on top of the garlic clove. Move your hand downwards with a swift movement, being careful not to touch the sharp part of the blade.

Emulsifying dressing

A slow drizzle and a fast whisk will ensure that the oil binds with other ingredients. You're looking for a silky mixture, without visual orbs of oil. Another method that ensures the same texture is simply combining the ingredients in a jar, sealing it carefully, and shaking until the texture becomes silky. 

Stripping herbs

This technique, for herbs on a stalk like thyme, rosemary, oregano, tarragon, and marjoram is far less laborious than individually removing the leaves. Firmly grip the stem of each sprig and pull the leaves downward until they release from the stem. 

Deseeding a pomegranate

Cut the pomegranate in half (not through the stem) and gently squeeze each half to loosen the seeds. Then, hold each half over a bowl and hit with a spoon to knock the arils out into the bowl. 

Photography by Robert Bredvad. Food and prop styling by Kate Buckens.

Your healthy weeknight meal plan

Your healthy weeknight meal plan

Your healthy weeknight meal plan

Your healthy weeknight meal plan

Your healthy weeknight meal plan

Save time with two sheet-pan salad variations.