11/04/2011 11:10 am ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Rough Cut

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Watch this video to learn how to remove the leaves from a sprig of parsley and then how to chop the herb with a rough cut.

Video Transcript

I'm Chef Eve Felder from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: rough cut.

First I want to show you how to remove the leaves from parsley. You hold the herb up by the stem, and with your thumb and forefinger, just break it off into little flowerets - just into little leaves.

This cut, rough cut, is used if you want a rustic look - let's say you were doing a fabulous pizza with three cheeses, or a pizza and pepperoni, and you just scatter the parsley over the top.

So here we go: we have a pile of parsley. Because parsley is a delicate herb, you do not want to smash it. I'm going to show the right way and the wrong way to cut it. Here's the right way: you use your thumb and your forefingers to catch the leaves into a pile. Your thumb goes behind your fingers, and you begin rocking your knife from the tip across the parsley. You're basically doing a ribbon cut. I'm going to stop here because I'm going to take it to the next level. We're going to take this pile, and notice I'm turning it around so the leaves are going the other way, and again I'm going to rock my knife through it using a slicing motion. Here we go with a rough cut.

Now what often happens with parsley is this cut - do NOT do this cut. [This is sharp chopping, lifting the whole knife off the board.] This cut bruises it. If the parsley bruises, the moisture leaks out and it does not taste good. You will notice the difference: it's sticky, it's beginning to off-color, it's getting a darker green, it will not last. And you don't get the beautiful aroma of the parsley.