When I first starting cooking, it took me forever to chop parsley and cilantro. Why? Because I picked all of the leaves off of the stems before chopping. That’s enough to turn anyone to ordering take-out forever!
I don’t remember who it was, but someone finally took pity on me and told me to forget the plucking. They taught me to chop with abandon…stems and all!
Now I can prep herbs in seconds. I throw parsley into everything from Roasted Tomato & Sausage Pasta to my favorite Mediterranean 7-Layer Dip, and cilantro graces everything from Easy Cilantro Lime Brown Rice to Cheesy Chile Leftover Mashed Potato Patties.
One of the keys to chopping efficiently (herbs or anything else) is a good, sharp knife. I can not stress this enough! There is nothing more frustrating than prepping food with a dull, weak knife. It’s not a cooking snobbery thing. Poorly made knives just don’t perform as well and it takes twice as long to prep everything.
Years ago, when my husband and I first set up our kitchen, we bought two things…a good set of pans and a great set of knives. We lived in New York City at the time and took the subway down to the Williams Sonoma in Soho. We walked out of there an hour later with our pans and four WÜSTHOF knives…an 8-inch Chef’s knife, a 10-inch Chef’s knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife.
We replaced a couple of the pans over the years, but the knives look and perform as though we bought them yesterday. 18 years later. Of course, we’ve had them professionally sharpened numerous times over the years (your knives need a tune-up just like your car does) and they’ve continued to be my favorites.
Chopping parsley & cilantro:
As I mentioned above, start with a sharp knife. It will make your chopping life so much easier.
Separate a small portion of parsley or cilantro from the larger bunch. If there are some really thick stems, remove them. Otherwise, no plucking is required!
Start chopping, including the section of the stems that are attached to the leaves. Discard the bottom, leafless section of the stems or save them for chicken or vegetable stocks.
Keep the tip of the knife “attached” to the cutting board by pressing down on the knife with your free hand. Using a rocking motion, chop up and down, working your way across the herbs. Stop and gather them together from time to time to make sure that all of the leaves are chopped evenly.
Voilà! Perfectly chopped parsley or cilantro in seconds.
As a testament to the quality of WÜSTHOF knives, they are celebrating their 200th anniversary this year! It’s a family-run 7th-generation company that is committed to producing fantastic knives, year after year.
As a special holiday gift to our readers, I’m teaming up with WÜSTHOF and a group of wonderful bloggers to offer this exciting prize to one lucky reader Use the giveaway widget below for several chances to win a WÜSTHOF CLASSIC 7-piece block set (approximate value $300 USD). This would make an awesome gift for the holidays or a great upgrade to your own kitchen knives!
This giveaway is open to U.S. residents, 18 years and older.
Disclosure: Thank you to WÜSTHOF knives for providing the knife set for the giveaway. All opinions are my own.