Chiffa-wha? Chiffonade. It’s a fancy name for cutting herbs or other greens into long, thin strips. It’s literal French translation is “made of rags”. Sounds appetizing, right? Even so, it’s a nice little technique to have in your back pocket.
I mostly use chiffonade for basil (do chiffonade? make chiffonade? I’m not sure the right verbage here). It is nice for bruschetta, caprese salads, pasta, etc. I like it because it makes the basil smaller so it gets distributed better. And it looks pretty. Besides sometimes you need a dash of fancy in your life.
How to make chiffonade of basil
1. Stack your basil leaves. Put the bigger leaves on the bottom and smaller leaves on top. I’m using 5 leaves here, but you can do this with as many as you are comfortable working with.
2. Starting at the tip (non-stem end), roll the leaves
until you have a little cigar of basil leaves.
3. Hold the cigar down on your cutting board and cut thin slices from one end. Go as slow as you need to.
Keep cutting slices…
Until you reach the end of your cigar.
4. Voilá! Chiffonade. Now go fancify your dinner.