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How to wash and chop fresh herbs

Fine Cooking Issue 55
Photos: Sarah Jay
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1. To wash a bunch of parsley (or any leafy tender herb), hold the stems and dunk the bunch repeatedly in a bowl of cold water, letting the grit settle. Lift it out and shake dry over the sink. Pat off excess moisture with paper towels.

2. Cut off the leaves by holding the bunch of herbs and angling the blade of a sharp chef´s knife almost parallel with the stems. Shave off the leaves with short, downward swipes where the leaves meet the stems.

3. Chop with a rocking motion: Choke up on the knife handle and lay the fingers of your other hand straight over the tip. Chop up and down a dozen or so times, using your fingers to anchor the tip so the knife pivots in an arc. (See a video demonstration).

4. Gather the herbs back into a pile with the side of the knife. Keep doing the “rock-chop” until the herbs are chopped medium fine. A sharp knife will chop the herbs cleanly; a dull one will only bruise them.


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