Posted by: Part-Time Audiophile | June 24, 2009

Knife skills: Leafy greens & herbs

Leafy greens are a bit different than your root vegetables & fruits. They seem unmanageable with their irregular size and shapes. While that’s true, getting them ready for your dish is pretty simple. The secret is a chiffonade cut. Chiffonade makes little ribbons out of whatever it is you’re cutting. Wanna take it a step farther? Line up the chiffonade in a neat row and chop it into a mince.

Essentially, you take your greens, stack them as best you can, roll them together — again, as best you can, then chop. This works equally well for basil, which is fairly regular, to parsley, which isn’t. Spinach, kale, lettuce, as well as rosemary, marjoram, chervil — all fall to the chiffonade!

One tip — your knife needs to be scary-sharp. The goal is to break the vegetables down into small pieces and not just crush the food into paste on the cutting board. Want to know when you’ve made a good cut with a sharp knife? Look at the board after you scoop up the cuttings — is it covered in wet, green goo? All that goo is flavor and aroma — none of which is going into your food but which is all ready to be washed down the drain. Whoops.

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