How to Cut Fresh Herbs


Every once in a while, someone teaches you something and you have that, “I. Did. Not. Know that,” moment.

I had one of those moments last summer when Barbara Seelig Brown was doing a demonstration in our visitor’s center and mentioned that when cutting fresh herbs, you should make sure they’re dry.

The reason that stuck with me is because when I used fresh herbs, I tended to rinse them with water and use them. I didn’t think to pat them dry first.

But, what I did know from working at a cutlery factory is that you can chop, mince or chiffonade (rag cut) fresh herbs and greens like basil and flat parsley with a Chef’s Knife. And there are a couple of techniques you can use to get the desired effect.

First, you can stack the leaves of the herbs one on top of the other and roll them up lengthwise. Then make thin cuts from the top down toward the stem to create that rag cut. This works well with things like basil and baby spinach.

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You can also gather up the greens into a pile if you want to chop or mince them. This method works great with herbs that have smaller leaves, like parsley and cilantro.

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Whichever technique you choose it’s important to use a sharp knife when cutting delicate herbs so you don’t bruise them.

If you’re pressed for time, you can also use kitchen shears, like Cutco’s Super Shears, to snip herbs directly into salads and soups.

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Need more? Here’s Barbara demonstrating how to cut herbs and greens.

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