The Easiest Ways to Trim Produce

So all their precious nutrients end up in your tummy (and not in the trash).

Head of spring lettuce on paper towel
Photo: Ngoc Minh Ngo

Learn fast, foolproof strategies for cutting your favorite fruits and vegetables.

01 of 05

Spring Lettuce

Head of spring lettuce on paper towel
Ngoc Minh Ngo

To detach the core from soft lettuces (such as Bibb or butter), turn the head upside down. Hold the lettuce with one hand, grab the core with the other, and twist it off.

02 of 05


Three spears of asparagus on a white background
Ngoc Minh Ngo

When you bend an asparagus spear, a small miracle occurs: It snaps at exactly the spot where the tough stalk meets the tender spear. To save time, grab several spears at once, grasping the stems in one hand and the bottoms in the other.

03 of 05


Two strawberries, one with the leaves cut off
Ngoc Minh Ngo

There's an art to hulling strawberries. If you tug off the leaves with your fingertips, you miss the underlying hard, white core. If you lop off the entire top, you squander precious flesh. Instead, trim around the leaves with the tip of a paring knife, cutting a cone shape just beneath the surface. Remove the greens and the hull.

04 of 05

Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar snap peas, some with ends cut off
Ngoc Minh Ngo

Hold a paring knife in one hand and the sugar snap in the other, with the inside curve of the pod facing you. Sever the top of the pea and pull off the tough string that runs along the length of the pod. (Sometimes stores have already trimmed the string.) It's not necessary to remove the other end, though you can if you'd like. (This also works for snow peas.)

05 of 05


Two artichokes, one with end cut off
Ngoc Minh Ngo

Use a chef's knife to slice off the top quarter of the artichoke. Hold the artichoke by the stalk and use kitchen shears or scissors to snip the pointy tips from the remaining leaves. Place the artichoke on a cutting board and trim the entire stalk with the knife. To keep the artichoke from turning brown before cooking, toss it into a bowl of ice water with the juice of one lemon.

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