Paysanne is the French word for “peasant,” which could be interpreted as a sort of nice way of saying that this style of cutting is a simple or even rustic method of vegetable preparation. Cutting paysanne is not entirely dissimilar from cutting fermière, another “rustic” veg prep technique. In fact, many people confuse the two cuts, as paysanne is sometimes cut “roughly” and it can closely resemble fermière. But according to page 687 of the Culinary Institute of America’s textbook The Professional Chef, paysanne is cut to the basic size of 1/2 inch wide by 1/2 inch tall by 1/8 inch thick. The thickness of the final product is the most important factor, not whether the edges are squared or rounded. I tried to consult Monsieur Pepin’s Complete Techniques, but I found no mention of the cut. Nor is it included in the Larousse Gastronomique, which was slightly disappointing.
- Square off a 3 inch section of carrot. Cut it into a large batonnet (stick) that is 1/2″ by 1/2″.
- Cut the large carrot batonnet into thin square slices. Paysanne cuts are similar to Fermiere. Some even say they are interchangeable, but this is the way the CIA says to cut them.
Tips & Tricks
Make sure to cut with your finger nails pointed down into the carrot. That way if you slip, you won’t lodge the knife in the soft part of your fingers. Safety first!