Vegetables can be diced, minced or cut into matchsticks. When a vegetable is diced, it is cut into cubes. The cubes can be large, medium-sized or small.
Large cubes are good for stews, while medium-sized cubes are used in roasts. Vegetables cut into small cubes are good for sauteed meals and in soups. Vegetables cut into a very small dice called brunoise are used as garnish.
Mincing is smaller still and is used for aromatics such as garlic or ginger. Matchstick cuts are largely made for aesthetic reasons and make a meal look especially attractive. As with a dice, the matchstick cut has different sizes. The batonnet cut is the thickest, followed by the alumette cut, then the julienne cut. The julienne cut is the most popular type of matchstick cut.
Chiffonade is a cut used for leafy vegetables such as lettuce or herbs including basil. The chiffonade cut also keeps herbs from turning black and unattractive. The leaves are placed on top of one another, rolled up and then quickly and thinly sliced. A paring knife is often used to perform a chiffonade.
Other knives to cut vegetables are the standard chef's knife and a serrated knife, which is excellent for cutting tomatoes. All knives must be kept sharp.