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Chiffonade

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So, I was making pasta sauce tonight, tomato based, and got to the part of the basil. All of a sudden a memory popped into my head as I was delicately taking the leaves, stacking them and then proceeding to chiffonade them. The memory was of my grandmother and how she did it.

She used basil in copious amounts and almost religiously as if the food was being blessed with each handful of the wonderful herb.

She would rough chop it as would most of the other cooks in my family, but not me. I think schooling and the industry changed that for me although I have to admit that sometimes certain situations get the best of me and I can't perform the technique and there have been the occasions that I just cut away at it as she would while trying to mimic a recipe of hers.

So what is your preference for all uses of leafy greens and herbs?

Is it a rough and rustic chop?

Or is it the more tedious and artful looking chiffonade?
post #2 of 10
I'm more rustic. I love the simplicity of peasant foods.
post #3 of 10
Depends on the dish and the occasion for me.
post #4 of 10
It's not an allegiance to a look so much as chiffonading is the fastest way I know for large leaves, if consistent size is at all important.

Funny thing: My 24 year old daughter was visiting a little while ago, and I offered to show her how to cook something. I guess it was too basic for her, so she copped an attitude. "Dad. I know how to cook. For [heaven's] sake you taught me to chiffonade when I was eight!"

Well funny to me anyway. You're lucky I'm not telling you stories about my granddaughter. I could, you know.

BDL
post #5 of 10
Especially when used as garnish, where looks are important, chiffonade is the way to go.
Basil for one, should be rolled from stem to tip and then cut, rather than rolling from side to side, which results in a cross cut leaf.
Cutting from stem to tip produces less browning of the leaves.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #6 of 10
I like to oil them with olive oil, then roll them up and cut. I got the oiling tip out of Peterson's "sauces" book, seems to slow down the oxidization down quite a bit.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #7 of 10
The only herb my mom used in excess was cilantro which you don't chiffonade anyway.

The way I was taught with large leafy herbs was chiffonade, and now in my mind, there is no faster or efficient way to do it.

How do I teach one to chiffonade? Tell them to roll the leaves up like an umm... cigarette... and then slice it thinly. Worked due to the type of cooks we hire.
post #8 of 10
OK. Lemme clarify. Basil, I always chiff. ****, when it comes to just about any herb I pretty much chiff......i.e. I roll up a bundle of parsley and kinda chiff and then rock and roll for a bit. Chives.......well, i don't chiff those. Sage I kinda chiff and then rock n roll the **** out of it. Told one of my externs to chiff thyme and he just looked at me like WTF? I, in a stern voice told him to not question me and just do what I said.....and then cast him a smile and walked away.


And Foodpump.......a nice sharp knife is the best tip to keep the herbs from oxidizing. :smoking:
post #9 of 10
Have to disagree with the chiffonade of basil in all pastas.....when you have a pasta thats finished with parmesan....the chiffonade of basil will stick to the
tines of your fork with the cheese......makes a big gummy mess....I'm not saying I wouldn't use a chiffonade....just not with pastas for the most part...most of the time I prefer torn basil.....
post #10 of 10
me too it all depends on the dish really
when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

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when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

www.theunknownchef.com
www.theunknownchef.co.nz
www.shoebridge.co.nz
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