And for our latest installment of fancy French cooking terms, I give you CHIFFONADE, the term for cutting fresh herbs with large leaves into thin, ribbon-like strips. Basil is the perfect herb to for this, but you can also work with fresh mint or sage.
Though it’s most commonly used to refer to cut herbs, you can chiffonade any leafy food, like spinach, kale or lettuce. These thin strips are not only pretty on your plate, they make eating your leafy favorites easier as well.
Learning the art of chiffonade will make cutting fresh herbs so much easier. Here’s how you do it.
How to Chiffonade
1. Stack leaves on top of each other.
2. Roll them gently into a bundle.
3. Rock your knife through your bundle. Use your fingers to gently separate your delicious herb ribbons.
4. Get to sprinkling! You can add your chiffonade to salads, use them as a garnish for soups or other dishes. (I love-love-love a chiffonade of fresh basil on my Cheese Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella & Parm and on my Caprese Salad.)
Use herbs with large leaves, like basil, mint, or sage. You can also chiffonade spinach and kale!
Rinse your herbs and pat them completely dry. Excess moisture will give you dull, damp herb ribbons.
Use a sharp knife. A dull knife may bruise the edges of your herbs causing them to darken on the edges.