Sunday, October 19, 2008


I confused a couple of people by using the French word chiffonade during my demo at Blandy Farm last weekend when talking about basil. Despite the ubiquity of food shows on TV, I guess this is a technical term that many people aren't familiar with. Chiffonade, from the verb chiffonner, to (c)rumple, is a wonderfully concise way of saying "sliced into very fine shreds."

The following photos demonstrate the technique with basil. Photography by daughter number two.

Stack the leaves one on another.

Roll the leaves tightly.

This is what you're aiming for.

Slice into shreds as fine as you like. I do kaffir limes leaves microfine, less than a millimeter across. This basil is fairly coarse, for pasta.

This is the finished product, which ended up in pasta sauce of braised yellow and red peppers, leeks, and onions, roasted skate, and roasted tomatoes for staff meals last night.

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