More than any other seasonal dishes, summer fare seems to be so easy to prepare. Toss it on the grill for immediate char, add a light marinade for a zippy kick that won鈥檛 weigh your bites down or do nothing, because what鈥檚 more refreshing to nibble than fresh fruits and veggies on a hot day? Whether you go that lazy girl-approved route or opt for something more intricate, what always stands between you and an impressive plate of crudit茅s is getting the perfect chop on your produce. Don鈥檛 be intimidated by thick husks (really, skip the pre-cut pineapple) or pesky pits (we鈥檙e looking at you, mangos), because once you learn the *right* way to cut your favorite summer produce, you won鈥檛 believe you and your butcher block weren鈥檛 besties sooner.


While half the battle is using a properly sharpened knife, technique is what sets the pros apart from the rest. That鈥檚 why we tapped two of our favorite lady chefs 鈥 Natalia Bushyager and Leigh Loper of San Francisco鈥檚 culinary cafe Picnic on Third 鈥 to school us on how to peel, slice and chop eight fruits and vegetables you鈥檙e bound to eat this season, and all in easy-to-follow GIF form! Scroll below for the birds-eye-view action of the cutting board + new ideas for how to serve up these summer staples.

How to Cut a Persian Cucumber


Tools: Vegetable peeler + paring knife

Technique: Roll cut. 鈥淵ou roll the cucumber as you cut it on the bias, and it forms geometric, almost 3D-looking segments,鈥 Natalia said.

Serve it up: In a raw cucumber salad with avocado chunks, lime and garlic.

How to Cut聽Corn


Tools: Oven + chefs knife

Technique: Plank slices. 鈥淲e鈥檙e roasting the corn for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F to make the husk easy to peel along with all the silks,鈥 Leigh said. 鈥淚t also helps keep the kernels intact when you slice them off of the cob.鈥

Serve it up: As garnish for seared fish, or make an easy salsa with jalape帽os, onions, lime juice and cilantro.

How to Cut a Mango


Tools: Paring knife

Technique: Hedgehog cut. 鈥淵ou cut the mango pulp in a cross-hatch pattern but leave it in the skin so when you pop out the fruit it looks like a hedgehog! It鈥檚 pretty cute,鈥 Leigh said.

Serve it up: Sprinkled with chile lime salt to spice up your summer fruit plate.

How to Cut聽Cherry Tomatoes


Tools: Serrated knife + to-go lid

Technique: Halving hack. 鈥淲e鈥檙e using the lid as a trick to slice a handful of cherry tomatoes in half at once,鈥 Leigh said. 鈥淚t鈥檚 a great way to save time.鈥

Serve it up: Salt them and add a little red wine vinegar, then toss them in a salad with roasted corn and cilantro.

How to Cut an Avocado


Tools: Paring knife

Technique: Quarter + slice. 鈥淲hen you quarter the avocado before you peel it instead of when it鈥檚 halved, it makes removing the skin really, really easy,鈥 said Natalia.

Serve it up: Sprinkle with Maldon Salt and serve with raw tuna salad or as a topping to chili or fish stew.

How to Cut a Watermelon Radish


Tools: Mandoline + chef鈥檚 knife

Technique: Shave + julienne. 鈥淚t鈥檚 the best way to showcase the gorgeous colors,鈥 said Leigh.

Serve it up: As a stunning garnish on any summer salad.

How to Cut a Pineapple


Tools: Serrated knife

Technique: Spear slices. 鈥淭hey鈥檙e long, elegant and easy to pick up.鈥 Leigh says.

Serve it up: Sprinkled with a fresh batch of mint sugar.

How to Cut聽Watermelon


Tools: Chef鈥檚 knife

Technique: Steak slices. 鈥淐utting the watermelon into 1-inch steaks is a little unexpected since you typically don鈥檛 eat watermelon slices whole like this,鈥 Natalia said.

Serve it up: Grilled on a searing hot, oiled grill and served with a little lemon juice and salt.

What tricks do you have for cutting, chopping and peeling fruits + vegetables? Share your meal prep hacks with us in the comments below.