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Old 04-04-2007, 06:21 PM   #1
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Chopping herbs

I love my fresh herbs but is there a better way of chopping cilantro say than picking off the leaves, then manually chopping.
Thanks - p

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Old 04-04-2007, 06:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ph3iron
I love my fresh herbs but is there a better way of chopping cilantro say than picking off the leaves, then manually chopping.
Thanks - p
I don't know about others, but, I don't bother to pick the leaves off the stems. You will find the stems have as much flavor as the leaves, I just rinse well, then chop with a chefs knife to the consistancy I like.
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:48 PM   #3
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I like to fine chop such herbs, and "parsley" stems are quite edible. (Thyme would not be)
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Old 04-04-2007, 07:14 PM   #4
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Chopping herbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by kadesma
I don't know about others, but, I don't bother to pick the leaves off the stems. You will find the stems have as much flavor as the leaves, I just rinse well, then chop with a chefs knife to the consistancy I like.
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Ask and ye shall receive - thank you both very much - p
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Old 04-04-2007, 07:18 PM   #5
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There are some alternatives to just using your chef's knife to chop/mince your fresh herbs .... but I still prefer my chef's knife.

There is the rolling mincer (I find mine works better for cutting noodles) here is another style, and the Mezzaluna - either twin bade or most often single blade one handle or two handle styles. And there are a couple of styles of herb mills - there is another style that looks like a hand held rotary cheese grater. And, then there are the mini-chop food processors - here is just one example and the manual food choppers (the OXO model).

These are just presented as examples of the things on the market and not an endorsement for either a store or particular product in the above links.
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:45 PM   #6
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I use a chef's knife and hold the parsley by the stem end the use the knife in a whittling motion to take off as much as I need then I mince it. I use small stems but toss the thicker ones and save the base stems for stocks and soups.
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:20 PM   #7
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I too use the stems and all. To make it easier to chop them up do whats called a chiffanad which is basically roll them up like a cigar and then slice and then after that go back and rock your knife over the slivers.
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Old 04-05-2007, 02:28 AM   #8
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In some cultures they even use the roots! I cut the leafy part off carelessly (like some, I don't mind a bit of thin stem), then chop. I bought a double-blade mezullina, but find that it is more aggravation than it is worth -- the leaves of the herbs get caught between the blades. I'll use it when I have a lot to do. But I use my chef's knife or a pair of scizzors most of the time for most herbs.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:44 AM   #9
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Usually this is my choice of weapon for chopping fresh herbs. Very handy. It can be a tedious toil if you are bent on picking and separating leaves from every stem, but the small parts near the leaves don't do any harm, as others mentioned, if you chop them up well.
Also when I do some chopping in mass, like when I make a big batch of pesto, I just use my handheld mixer.
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Old 04-05-2007, 07:36 AM   #10
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For home use on small quantities, on cilantro and parsley, I just hold the base of the stem in my left hand, and pinch my right thumb, index, and middle finger around the stem, then using my left hand, pull the stem away from my pinched fingers, which usually removes the leaves fairly quickly. Then I'll just run my knife through the leaves. If I've got to use the whole bunch, I don't worry about removing the stems. I'll just chiffonade the whole bunch, then chop the slivers.

You want some work? Try chopping enough parsley to garnish the plates of a plated party for 200. Whew! I do the chiffonade method as above, usually 2 - 3 bunches at a time, and will use two or three chef's knives at the same time. I use knives that are the same length, and preferably with flat-sided handles. I'll wrap my fingers and thumb around both handles, and slip my index finger between the blades. For three knives, I also slip my middle finger between the blades. You've got to have big hands to do this, plus some gripping strength. Of course, this suffers from stuff getting stuck between the blades, like a double-bladed mezzaluna. It still takes me 15 - 20 minutes to chop that much parsley, but it's better than the 45 minutes that a single knife would take.
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:05 AM   #11
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I think I'm the weird one again - I take my herbs and put them in a small but deep bowl and chop, chop, chop with my kitchen shears - anyone ever do it this way?
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:47 AM   #12
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Ditto Andy M, hold the bunch by the stems in one hand, and using your knife "shave" off the leaves. Takes 2 seconds.
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:48 AM   #13
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The only herb I use my kitchen shears on is chives. Speaking of kitchen shears I need to put that on my shopping list because when my oldest brother was down he'd broke mine and I have yet to replace them because I continue to forget.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:12 AM   #14
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I like the mezzaluna the hand cranked grinder is horrible it just mushes the herbs.If I need alot of chopped parsley or cilantro I use a food processor.I wash and dry them the best I can then process to consistancy you want the I lay out several sheets all one piece and lay the herbs out and spread them out to dry a little so they dont get soggy then I fold a piece of paper towel in a plastic container and put in the herbs put another layer in the middle more herbs and a layer on top put on lid and into fridge.They can keep up to a week this way and stay fresh.
I do this for my job in Texas as I use these all weekend long and they are ready for anything.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:00 AM   #15
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Another vote for using the stems - so long as they're young & tender.
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Old 04-05-2007, 02:34 PM   #16
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If the stem is green and crispy (lovage, parsley, cilantro, dill) just leave it.

If it's woody, you can just pull off the leaves all at once by holding the top end between your thumb and forefinger, and grasp just below that with the same fingers of the opposite hand, and let that hand strip the leaves as you pull with the first hand.

If it's a soft green stem, as in new growth, then you're just in for a a tough job.
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:23 AM   #17
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Talking Quick Herb Chopping

If I'm in a rush to chop herbs I'll hold two large knives together, handle to handle, then just chop as normal. The two blades make short work of the herbs!
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:29 AM   #18
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As far as the actual chopping goes, if I just need a a couple of tablespoons, I hand-chop. If I need more than that, then I use my little "mini" Cuisinart. Just a couple of pulses & it's done.
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:43 AM   #19
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I cut the bottom third of a bunch of parsley or cilantro ( the part where the stems are bare) wrap them in cheesecloth and use them in soups. The stems have tremendous flavor and I don't have to use up my parsley or cilantro, which I always have on hand. I never cut the leaves off of the rest of the bunch but I find that chopping with a chef's knife does a great job and it's quick. For some odd reason, when I chop herbs in my mini-Cuisinart, they seem to lose a lot of the aroma and flavor.
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:52 AM   #20
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I tried the trick of holding the bunch of parsley or cilantro in one hand and combing it with a dinner fork with the other to remove the leaves...Works pretty well, but I do love to use the young tender stems. The only thing I don't use the stems in is when I make chicken stock, they seem to leave a slight green color to the stock..It doesn't hurt anything just looks funny to me..Anyone else notice this?
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