Ever notice those ribbon-like piles of fresh herbs in food magazines, or on your plate while dining out? They actually have a name – “chiffonade”.
Chiffonade is a fancy word for a simple technique, involving cutting herbs into long thin strips. It comes from a French word for “rag”, which I suppose refers to the appearance of the herbs after they’re cut.
Here’s how to do it:
Take any flat-leaf herb (like basil, sage or mint) and stack the individual leaves on your cutting board.
Roll them tightly and secure the roll at one end.
Using a sharp knife (or kitchen shears), make thin slices across the length of the roll.
Voila! A pretty pile to shower over your dish.
Easy, right? To avoid browned edges, slice the herbs just prior to serving. This technique also works well with leafy greens like spinach, kale and chard.
What’s your favorite kitchen technique? Send it on over; I’d love to post it here!