You may be most comfortable with a specific type of
peeler and use it for all vegetables. But the trick to peeling quickly and
with the minimum of waste is to use a variety of tools, depending on the
fruit or vegetable you're peeling.
swivel-type vegetable peeler is best for vegetables with thin, delicate
skins, such as asparagus and carrots. A peeler with a fixed blade is
better for vegetables with thick skins that require deeper peeling, such
as celeriac, a paring knife works best, because it allows you to reach
into the nooks and crannies below the surface of the peel.
Some vegetables, such as onions, tomatoes, bell
peppers and chestnuts, require special peeling methods.
Kitchen Notes and Tips -
Each type of peeler is most effective used a
specific way. A swivel-type peels with a back-and-forth movement, or by
moving it away from you. Use non-swivel peelers by peeling toward
yourself, as if you were using a knife.
Peel thin-skinned vegetables such as carrots
and asparagus with a swivel-type peeler.
Peel thicker-skinned vegetables such as
eggplant, turnips and potatoes with a non-swivel peeler.
String fennel and celery with either a peeler
or a knife.
Peel very thick skinned vegetables such as
celery root and winter squash with a knife.
A short plunge into boiling water will loosen
the peels of onions and tomatoes and the inner peels of peeled
chestnuts. This trick is especially handy for peeling pearl onions.
Many people don't think peeling asparagus is
worth the bother, but peeled asparagus is easier to cook because the
stalks cook in the same time as the florets - and you can eat the whole
stalk if it's been peeled.