How do I "turn" a zucchini?
You cut it into about 2-inch lengths and then pare to shape like an elongated oval or a barrel. It's a French affectation that you often see done to potatoes. Very La Cote Basque, very over-produced.
So-called "baby" carrots are often turned by machine, leaving you with just the woody center, a total waste of good carrot.
What are you making? I'm sure the turning can be optional, unless it is an elaborate French presentation or you need a certain texture (skinless).
Oh...so many responses...must control the smarty pants comments :) *lol*
It's not that easy to turn vegetables, and it generally works best with something really firm, but go ahead and give it a shot. You might want to practice on a few carrots first. Worst that happens is you have a pile of shards for muffins.
You need a really sharp curved paring knife. Peel and cut vegetables into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths, split in half lengthwise and round vegetables into chunks the same length and about 4 cm (1.5 inch) wide. Pare the sides, shaping them into barrel shapes with 7 faces.
With Zucchini, the top face should still have the skin on it, the six side faces should be nekkid.
re: Wendy Lai
I don't see the point myself...I spent hours and hours sweating over this knife technique in cooking school - we went through hundreds of pounds of carrots trying to perfect it and I have to say, in the 10 years since I used it in my final exam, I haven't turned a single veg unless I am going to dice it fine afterwards and I want to see if I can still do it. It does look nice, and if you are cooking classical french, then it adds to the effect, but about all you can do is add the trimmings to the stock pot or chop them up in other things.