You may not have the knife skills of a professional chef but that doesn’t mean you should not learn how to use your knife better. You should learn and practice wielding your knife in the kitchen because no matter what task you need to do in the kitchen, using a knife is probably going to be part of the recipe. Ingredients need to be prepared!
However, not all tasks need a knife and not all ingredients can be prepared with a knife. There are some tasks that have you reaching for other kitchen tools or no tools at all if your hands are the perfect ones to use. (Hello, separating eggs!)
If you’re handling a cauliflower or broccoli stem and need to finely chop it, we have a great tip for you: No need to reach for the knife. Prep these two ingredients just as easily with this handy kitchen gadget: the grater.
In fact, we think that “finely chopping” the cauliflower and broccoli is faster on the grater than it is with a knife!
The grater is a great tool for these two vegetables because both are basically tiny flowers on a giant stem. The knife can do the job of separating the florets from the large stem but the grater will do a better job if you’re looking to finely chop the florets into smaller pieces. This is great for making cauliflower rice, a broccoli soup, or are making these as part of a filling for a pocket pie like an empanada.
Here’s what you do:
- 1. Prepare a grater and a large plate or bowl. Place either a non-slip mat or a wet paper towel underneath to keep the plate or bowl from moving as you grate.
- 2. Remove any outer leaves and any bruised mushy parts from the cauliflower or broccoli.
- 3. Stand your grater upright with the larger grating face towards you. (A box grater is great for this task.)
- 4. Grip the cauliflower or broccoli by the stem, and start grating the floret side on the grater. Keep going until you reach the main stem. You can keep grating until only the large stem remains.
We think the grater is a highly underused kitchen tool. It can do many things and it’s meant to do many things! You can grate chocolate for easy chocolate shavings to sprinkle on top of desserts, grate potatoes for easy homemade hash browns, and you can even grate tomatoes to create the freshest tomato sauce! No need to simmer it too long to break down the tomatoes.
Can you think of more ways you can use the grater, too?