What exactly does the ‘chiffonade’ part of chiffonade cut even mean? Well, for starters, it is a French word that refers to the ribbon-like strips of leaves you create while cutting in this style. This cut is used for herbs such as parsley, rosemary, or thyme. Such leafy greens are therefore cut much more elegantly this way.
THE 4 STEPS
There are four steps to the chiffonade cut. First, you must place several leaves one on top of the other. Whether to cut off the stem or not is the chef’s (your) choice. Depending on the thickness of the leaves you will determine the amount you can manage to cut all at once.
Then, you proceed to roll the leaves, either horizontally or vertically, into a tight cigar-like roll. Using a sharp Chef’s knife, you must slice through the roll. The closer together the slices are, the thinner the resulting strips will be. Finally, fluff up the ribbons.
Due to the tenderness of leaves, in order for them to remain beautiful and fresh on time for you to present your plate they must be cut shortly prior to when they are inserted into the dish. For example, if you are looking to make chicken soup I prepare in my culinary class and are going to include spinach amongst the other veggies included, the spinach must be the last vegetable to be cut.
It is not a difficult cut to master and with practice can be rapidly perfected. To the right are captioned pictures displaying each step. The main precaution to take while carrying out this cut is to place your fingers on the roll of leaves carefully and cut slowly for the best and gingerly-achieved cut.