how to chiffonade basil

I thought it might be helpful to create a “how to” series of little tricks in the kitchen, which aren’t intended to necessarily blow your mind, but provide common sense, direct explanations to make your culinary life easier.

The first is a quick how to on how to create a basil “chiffonade”, which means “rags” in French {even the French word for rags sounds beautiful}.  Of course, a chiffonade is never necessary, but is actually extremely easy once you get the hang of it, and these emerald tangles are gorgeous sprinkled over pastas, egg dishes, salads and soups.

I first explained how to do this over instant messenger to my college friend Scott.  I distinctly remember typing “then roll the layers of basil up like a burrito” {had to get creative with my descriptions without the benefit of pictures or video}.

Instructions continued after the jump…

Step 1:  Pick your basil leaves – pick out 10-12 large, similar sized leaves from the bunch.

Step 2:  Stack leaves, one on top of the other.  Place the stack of leaves on the cutting board horizontally {so the ends and tips of the leaves face the sides of your cutting board}.

Step 3:  Roll the stacked leaves up “as you would a burrito” {or perhaps a cigar} until you have one long, tight roll.

Step 4:  Using a sharp knife and starting at one end of the roll, cut the roll into 1/4 inch strips.  Continue in this manner all the way down the roll.

Step 5:  Pick up leaves, loosen with fingers et voila!  You have created a chiffonade, ready for sprinkling!

Thank you for reading!

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2 Responses to how to chiffonade basil

  1. Pingback: pasta alla norma « { fleur de sel }

  2. Pingback: seared scallops with a grapefruit buerre blanc and finger lime caviar « { fleur de sel }

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