How to make basil chiffonade

Chiffonade refers to finely sliced leaf vegetables, often herbs, used as a garnish for soup or salad. According to Wikipedia, “chiffon” is French for “rag” referring to the fabric-like strips that result from this technique. Wow, I didn’t know that. I always thought that chiffon referred to the sheer fabric that dreamy floaty evening dresses are made of. Anyway, this is a food blog and not a fashion blog and this is about chiffonade and not chiffon. You can make a chiffonade of just about any herb. The fine, fine slices when used to top soups and salads are not only pretty to look at but they make the experience of eating raw leaves less intimidating.

A couple of days ago, I made basil chiffonade for a tomato mixture that went to my nachos salad. The recipe for nachos salad will be posted next. Basil chiffonade

Start by stacking the basil leaves. Basil chiffonade

Start rolling them away from you. Basil chiffonade

Roll as tightly as you can. Basil chiffonade

Just keep rolling until you reach the opposite end of the leaves and you have a tight little package. Basil chiffonade

With one hand holding the rolled leaves tightly, start slicing as finely as you can. Basil chiffonade

Keep slicing until all the leaves are transformed into miniature ribbons. Basil chiffonade

Now you’re ready to use your basil chiffonade. Just sprinkle the ribbons on top of your soup or salad and you have a dish that looks like it has been prepared by a seasoned pro.

Connie Veneracion

I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

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8 Responses

  1. Beth says:

    What a coincidence! I just did this last night to flavor my grilled tomatoes top with shaved parma ham and mozarella cheese.Yummy!It was our side dish for pork barbeque.Tomatoes are so cheap right now and they really come in big,juicy sizes this season so it’s always in our menu lately.Healthy too! :)

    • Connie says:

      Yep, cheap plump and juicy tomatoes. Gotta take advantage of them this summer. When the rainy season begins, tomatoes won’t be as juicy or as red.

  1. April 13, 2010

    […] Make a basil chiffonade, add to the tomatoes with some salt and the lemon juice. Toss. […]

  2. April 30, 2010

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    […] Finely slice the mint leaves (see tip on making a chiffonade). […]

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    […] 1/2 c. of walnuts halves 1 small carrot, peeled and julienned 1/2 c. of Thai plum sauce basil chiffonade […]

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    […] of extra virgin olive oil 2 tomatoes, chopped 12 to 15 sweet basil leaves, thinly sliced (see how to make basil chiffonade) juice of half a lemon a dash of sugar salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste […]

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