A Debonair Cat Shows You How To Chiffonade

A Debonair Cat Shows You How to Chiffonade Illustrated by Kaitlin Kostus

We are entering the season of the chiffonade! Now that all things fresh and herbalicious are growing again, you might have noticed a sprinkling of thin green ribbons garnishing more of your meals.

And, if you’re like me, you might have also immediately wished you had the cutting skills required for such a fine dining garnish, because obviously something so fancy pants with a French name must be hard to do. Right? WRONG.

Mastering the chiffonade is something anyone can do, no matter how intimate you are with your knife block, and today we are going to learn how!

How to Chiffonade

Stack Leaves Most chiffonades are made from leafy herbs or greens, such as basil, mint, kale, or swiss chard. The first step in chiffonade-ing is to stack about ten leaves into a neat pile. I try to keep similarly sized leaves together so that they are easier to line up.

Tightly Roll the Stack of Leaves Next, you’re going to roll up your leaf stack, lengthwise, so that it resembles a tightly rolled up paper towel roll.

Thinly Slice the Leaves Grab your sharpest knife, and slice across the roll horizontally, until the whole roll is now cut into fine strips. The closer the slices are together, the finer your chiffonade will be. I tend to cut more delicate strips for herbs and more coarse strips for hearty leafy greens.

Garnish and Serve Fluff up the chiffonade with your fingers to separate the strands and then throw them onto whatever you’re eating to add a fresh touch to your favorite meals.

Chiffonades are great on soups, stews, pastas, grain salads, and fruit salads, so garnish away!

About Joanne

Joanne Bruno is the blogger, recipe developer, and photographer behind the mostly ridiculous and always delicious vegetarian food blog Eats Well With Others. She likes her vegetables with a side of cupcakes and takes a highly hyperbolic approach to most things in life.   Read more from Joanne →

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  1. says

    I had no idea what a chiffonade was before reading this. But it’s better to be late to the party than not come at all, right.

    And the cat. Priceless. I consider myself one of those cat & dog people, I just gotta have both!

  2. Jan says

    I am embarassed to say that I cheat: I roll up my pile of basil & take a pair of scissors to it. Then again, scissors are also my go-to tool for cutting pizza. (Though I am going to check out those veggie tools that you have advertized on your page.)

  3. Mary says

    I first thought I clicked on the wrong site LOL. Seriously, one of the more enjoyable and useful food tutorials I’ve read. I loved the illustrations; they reminded me of Shel Silverstein. You should think about maybe doing YT videos. The Debonair Cat does… chiffonading! Thanks again for the info and the smile.

    • Joanne Bruno says

      Kale salad chiffonades are one of my favorites also! Somehow those thin strips are more fun to eat.

  4. says

    I swear Kaitlin is illustrating my cat, Claire. Love the little paws holding and tossing the herbs on to the food! What fun and creative illustrations!! Don’t you know how impressive it is to hear one say, chiffonade? Say it with me now, “Chiff n aid”! I’m with Jessica! Off to chiffonade now!

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