Introduction: How to Chiffonade
Chiffonade is a cutting technique that you can use to cut up any flat leafy food. It works great on things that you are going to eat fresh, like basil and lettuce and helps you cut uniform, curly, strips of food quickly and elegantly.
Step 1: Stack the Leaves
I am going to demonstrate this cutting technique with basil, but you can use it for anything you like.
First take a bunch of leaves and stack them all them all together. They don't all have to facing the same way, they just all have to be flat.
Step 2: Roll the Leaves
Take your stack of leaves and put them down on a cutting board. Then, working your way from the top down roll the leaves up tightly.
Step 3: Cut the Roll
Get a sharp knife (See Tim Anderson's Knife Sharpening Instructable if necessary) and begin to cut thin strips off of the roll. I am using my non-knife hand to take the photo, but it should be holding the roll in place.
If you are familiar with fine chopping then do whatever you normally do to protect your fingers while you cut.
If you are new to making cuts with a sharp close to your fingers then it can be a good idea to fold your fingertips under the hand that is holding the food in place. You can use your upper knuckles to guide the side of the knife as it moves up and down to make the cut. This isn't the most comfortable way to cut, but it will definitely protect your fingers since they will be safely kept out of the knife's way.
Step 4: Separate the Strips
The strips of food come off the roll in tightly wound bundles. You might want to leave it like this for presentation purposes or you might want to separate them a bit so no one bites into a clump of basil. I gently toss them with my fingers to do this.
That's it - you've just cut a Chiffonade.