This French culinary term is used to describe a specific cutting technique for green thin leaf vegetables and large leaf herbs.
The end result or “chiffonade” is very finely shredded strips of vegetables, lettuces or herbs such as spinach, sorrel, Belgium endive, radicchio and basil; or any other similarly green thin leaves.
Typically the individual leaves are stacked neatly on top of each other and then rolled tightly. Then the chiffonade is achieved by cutting across the tightly rolled vegetables or herbs, yielding long thin shreds or strips.
Chiffonade can be cut from thin ribbons to very fine shreds depending on its usage.
Chiffonade can be sautéed in butter and moistened with stock or milk to form an aromatic bed on which to poach fish or poultry.
Chiffonade needs to be cut very thinly if added raw to a soup or a sauce as a flavoring garnish where it is meant to instantly wilt and release its flavor. Similarly when used to top a herb salad.