A chiffonade is a fancy name for a very simple technique—slicing leafy herbs or greens very thinly. Simply stack three or four leaves on a cutting board and roll them up tightly like a cigar. Cut very thin slices as though you were slicing a roll of cookie dough. Presto! You’ve got a pile of uniformly sized and shaped slivers, ready to garnish a variety of dishes.
Uses for a Chiffonade
- Slice ripe tomatoes, place on a plate, and add salt to taste. Generously garnish with a chiffonade of basil. Drizzle with good extra-virgin olive oil and allow to marinate briefly. You can also include olives and slices of fresh mozzarella.
- Top bowls of store-bought carrot, tomato, or squash soup with a chiffonade of basil or mint. The slivers of fresh herbs will add a layer of fresh flavor and give it a homemade touch. A chiffonade of basil scattered over individual servings of baked pasta will also add a burst of freshness and eye appeal.
- Create a chiffonade of spinach, kale, or other leafy greens and sauté just until wilted in olive oil with a little chopped garlic or shallot. Or fry a couple of slices of bacon until crisp, crumble the bacon and use the bacon fat to sauté the greens. Add the crumbled bacon to the greens just before serving.