How to Chop Basil

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Learn how to prepare and chop basil with expert tips in this free how-to video on cutting vegetables.

Part of the Video Series: How to Cut Vegetables
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Video Transcript

Another favorite I like to use when I make my catering events is herbs. Fresh herbs from the garden. I like to use them for garnishes, for flavoring foods, sauces and just for display purposes. When I pick nice pieces of or bunches rather of herbs from the grocery store, I look for some that retain some of the natural pieces. Look at that. Isn't that beautiful? I'm going to pinch off pieces that have some of the seed in it, the bud. These have almost gone to seed so I wouldn't want to cut them anyway. They're just so pretty. I'm going to reserve them on the side for garnishing dishes in the future. Alright. So I'm going to give you a couple of tips on cutting basil. It's so yummy and you can use it again for so many things. You're going to want to pinch off gently the leaves from the stem; discard the stem. As I like to put it in my mulching bin, keep your bigger pieces together. That ones beautiful. We don't want to cut that one. There we go. The larger the leaf, the easier it is to cut. Depends on what you're going to use it for. If you're doing something like a buffalo mozzarella platter, you're going to want to reserve some of the bigger beautiful leaves like this and set them aside. Saving the smaller ones for chopping finer for finishing touches of a garnish say or adding to soups or sauces. So since these are going to go into one of my mixtures, I don't have to keep them large and beautiful. I'm going to cut them very small. So I'm just going to clump them together, using a very sharp chef's knife and I'm just going to rock it back and forth making a chiffonade style cut. Chiffonade are the long and lean types of cuts. Like this. They're really pretty for garnishing and they certainly have still the shape and the fragrance and the color. When you add herbs, fresh herbs to sauces, you want to do that at the very last moment. Because the color and the fragrance are going to add their brightness just towards the end so they don't have to cook down and turn brown. So there is gorgeous, fragrant, beautiful basil.

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