This technique applies for basil, mint and other leafy herbs. It can also be used to ‘shred’ leafy green vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, swiss chard. The technique to a classically trained chef is a Chiffonade. But, unless you like crossword puzzles, who cares.
How to Cut Basil into Strips:
1. Wash the basil and pat dry
2. Take the basil by the stems and stack each leaf neatly on top of each other from largest leaf on the bottom to smallest on top.
2. Roll the stack. For basil and other soft stemmed greens, roll in either direction you prefer. For greens with a tougher stem you want to remove, roll from tip to stem and just cut the stem out.
3. Slice the basil into thin strips otherwise known as a chiffonade.
4. If needed for your recipe, you can turn the chiffonade side ways and cut a few more times to be more of a dice, but generally a chiffonade will do.
Basil will bruise easily upon cutting so don’t cut too far in advance of use or it will look almost black. Drizzling the leaves with a little olive oil before cutting will help but the biggest help is using this technique and a very sharp knife.