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Garnishes are the best part of any dish. Topping a salad with mint brings out the freshness, adding cilantro on top of eggs adds tons of flavor, and putting parsley in a recipe instantly adds pizzazz. In this article you'll learn how to chop parsley fast while keeping the mess to a minimum.
Start by selecting a bunch of parsley from your local store. A fresh bunch will be green, firm and fragrant. Next, untie the bunch and wash thoroughly to remove any dirt and pat dry.
Make sure all stems are facing the same direction. You can eat the stems of parsley, but they are much more bitter than the leaves, so I recommend just using the leaves for most recipes. By placing all stems together, you can easily remove them in one quick cut.
You should always practice knife safety when cutting in the kitchen, so with parsley the best way to protect your fingers from a sharp knife blade is to curl them under and away from the knife. Grab the parsley with your non-cutting hand, bunch together and curl your fingers back while holding the herbs together.
Finding the right knife for the job is an important step. Because I was cutting a smaller bunch, I didn't want to use a large chef's knife as the long blade would get in the way. I opted for a Fiskars chef knife which features a smaller blade, better for this cutting task. If your bunch is larger, I would upgrade to a larger Fiskars chef knife or another all-purpose kitchen knife.
The best way to chop parsley is to use the rock-chop method where you begin rocking the knife up and down while keeping the tip of the blade always on the surface of the cutting board. This helps maintain cutting control and uses the knife leverage to your advantage to cut cleanly down and through ingredients.
To get finer parsley pieces, rotate the cutting board after your first pass through with the knife. Moving the cutting board rather than the parsley itself will keep your herbs grouped together and eliminates some of that mess that can be caused when you being to pick up the delicate pieces in the middle of cutting. Continue chopping in this way until the desired parsley size is achieved.
Do more than just garnish. Parsley doesn't always need to play the supporting role. Try a parsley-centered recipe, like tabbouleh, for your next dinner party to see just how much flavor you can get from a small little herb!