As evidence of the video below, my knife skills are a bit lackluster, and the Chef’s videotaping needs a lot of work too. However, the Chef was giving me instruction on how to cut basil for our dinner last night and he videotaped me using a technique called chiffonade. That’s just a fancy little French word for making elegant ribbons.
What he missed was me describing how you first take a bunch of leaves (about 10) and stack them together. Then you roll the stack up so it looks like a cigar. Using a sharp knife, cut the stack thinly and fluff the results with your fingers (which you do see in the video). There you have it – chiffonade!
Tip: Don’t cut basil twice as it turns black, and use immediately after cutting.