Cutting Herbs

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 28,071
    Jim Davis from Harris Teeter demonstrates how to cut herbs.

    Jim Davis: Hi! I'm Jim Davis for Harris Teeter. I'm here to show you how to cut herbs, all the common ones that we have.

    All we do is lay them down on our board, run our knife through them, for a coarse chop, every half inch or so. Turn them around and back through the board again. And that's coarse chop herbs.

    Now, we've got our coarse chop herbs. If we want to mince these same herbs, we just simply use our knife and continue working across the board by holding down the tip into the knife with the left hand, if you're right handed, and continue to just raise the knife and chop it up and down and walk it across the herbs.

    By the way cilantro, what I have chosen here, is one of the few herbs that you don't have to pull out the stems. Cilantro stems are perfectly fine to chop and eat. There you have minced herbs.

    How To Chop & Mince ChivesThe easiest way to chop, put them all in a bundle, use your knife and chop as you would really consider about a half and an inch long. That's how you chop a chive. It's easier to use good kitchen shears and just trim them off in small pieces, and that that's how you mince chives.

    How To Chop & Mince ThymeFirst of all, we've to remove it from the steps. Fresh thyme is very lovely herb. We have to remove it from the stem. We are going to need those little pieces in up at the very top and that we want to do, because they are fairly tender anyway.

    So now we've got our thyme pulled off the stem. What we want to do is we want to walk our knife through the herbs. You notice I hold knife down with my left hand and just walk it across here very fine. Now that would be considered chopped thyme. Now we can generally going to do this few more times. That's how you chop minced thyme.

    How To Chop & Mince TarragonTarragon is a favorite French herb. We've got a lot in the United States now. We take it off of the heavy stem. We don't want to include the heavy stem in. I would tell you a secret, regardless of the herb you're using, if you're cooking for instance a stew or something like that, you can just throw the herbs in stew with the stems on it and when it's done cooking, just pull the stems out. It saves a lot of time.

    Now what we want to do is we want to cut our herbs coarsely, run knife, about every quarter inch cut across here. We kind of turn them around and do the same thing this way. That is coarse chopped thyme.

    Now if we want to mince our thyme, we just walk our knife through it like this. And that's how you chop minced tarragon.

    How To Chop & Mince OreganoOregano is a very popular herb all over the world, particularly true in the Mediterranean, all over Italy, Sicily. These are oregano leaves. You can grow them in your own garden at home, very easy. We're going to cut them first very coarse. We're going to turn them around the other way and cut them. That is chopped oregano.

    Now if you want your oregano finer than that, we simply put it back on the cutting board and we walk our knife through it a few times, holding the tip end down with our left hand to just making sure that the knife goes all the way to the cutting board on each cut across. That's how you chop and mince oregano.

    How To Chop & Mince RosemaryRosemary is a wonderful herb, very popular in the Mediterranean area. Remember, if you're using fresh herbs, use three times as much as the recipe calls for. If it's calling for dried herbs. You always have to use more fresh herbs than dried herbs.

    What we're going to do is we're going to just cut roughly across our rosemary, and we have to remove that rosemary from the stem. That's really a tough stem. We can't cook it. So that's chopped rosemary.

    Now if you wanted it finer than that, you want to mince rosemary and simply put it back on the cutting board and you walk your knife across the rosemary a few more times and you have chopped and minced rosemary.

    How To Chop & Mince SageOne of my favorite herbs. This is the herb that you smell at Christmas time and Thanksgiving. It's most associated with pork ribs. It's just a wonderful fragrant herb. I'm going to cut it crossways, just a little bit like this. Now that's chopped sage.

    If we want to mince it, we simply put it down on the board and we run our knife through it a few times holding the tip down with the left hand. Now if the sage is dried, if the sage leaves are dry, you don't grind them, you rub them together and that's why the dried sage you find in a store is almost always called rubbed sage.

    If you're doing fresh sage, your recipe calls for a teaspoon of dried sage, then it's three teaspoons of fresh. Always triple the amount of fresh with dry. And that's how you chop and mince sage.

    How To Chop & Mince BasilBasil is a very delicate herb and one that we can't just chop up or minced, because it turns black. It turns black very quickly. So what we've to do is take our basil leaves and stack them like this. Stack them up and roll them, just like you were rolling a cigar. Roll them up like this and then hold very tightly and using your sharp knife, cut it crossways very thin strips. And that's how you cut a chiffonade basil.

    How To Chop & Mince ParsleyPick up the parsley loosely, giant parsley, fold over the top and just slice it off like that. Slice it down before the top starts and there is our chopped parsley. Just like that.

    Now if we want to mince it, we put it back down on the board and we walk our knife through it a few more times. Oh! Does that smell good? And that's how you chop and mince parsley.

    How To Chop & Mince MintHere is our stem of mint. We just simply pull off the leaves. This is winter green. You can also find spearmint and peppermint mint herbs, but this is winter green. All we're going to do is we're going to cut across our stack of herbs, in this case the mint, until we just get it. That's a coarse chop of mint.

    Now if we want it finer than that, we want to mince it and we just leave it on our board and we walk our knife across it holding the left end down with our hand and chopping it fairly rapidly as we walk it across. That's how you chop and mince mint.

    How To Chop & Mince CilantroWe fold over our cilantro and then cut it off fairly fine. This is the one herb that you can cut up the stems and not have to worry about it, because the stems carry a lot of flavor and also are very tender. So there is our chopped cilantro, just that simple.

    Now if we want it minced it finer, we simply put it on the cutting board and walk our knife through it a few times. And there you have chopped and minced cilantro.

    How To Chop & Mince DillWe want to pull the little thorns off of the stems. We don't want to cut up those tough stems. They have a lot of flavor, but they are also very tough and chewy. So we take thorns off of that, put them over in our stack here. There is our stack of fresh dill.

    Now we just wanted some fresh chopped dill, just run a few, and that's chopped dill. Now if we want it little finer, we will simply walk our knife through it a few times. There you have chopped and minced dill.