A chiffonade looks impressive, but once you know this basic knife skill it only takes a minute to transform greens and herbs into uniformly sized ribbons. In addition to plating beautifully, there are several reasons you may want to use a chiffonade.
When to use a Chiffonade
On hearty greens like collards, chard and flat-leaf kale, a chiffonade will reduce large leaves to a bite-sized form and ensure that your dish cooks evenly.
Use a chiffonade on leafy herbs like basil and sage when tossing into a dish or sprinkling as a garnish. Compared to chopping, the elongated form looks elegant and clearly punctuates recipes with fresh herb flavors.
Skip this step when preparing herbs
- Stack several leaves with the stems aligned
- Use a sharp knife to slice down the middle of the leaves, once on each side of the stems, so that stems are separated and leaves are cut in half
- Stack several leaves and align the edges
- Start at the top of the leaves and tightly roll them along the vertical axis
- Slice through the roll every quarter or half inch for hearty greens, and every eighth inch for herbs
Ready to test your new skills? Try a recipe that uses a chiffonade.