Master chefs know that herbs are a great way to add flavor and depth to their dishes. When cut, the cells in the leaves of the herb break, releasing their scent and flavor. To get the most out of your herbs, it's important to use a sharp knife or scissors and chop them as finely as possible. Delicate herbs such as parsley and cilantro should be chopped just before use, as they will lose their scent quickly.
Thyme is another herb commonly used on poultry, and its tiny leaves don't need to be chopped - simply remove them from the hard, woody stems with your fingers and add them to your plate. The earthy, slightly lemony flavor of thyme goes well with savory dishes, but it also adds depth to sweeter flavors, such as fruit. It can also be used to add another layer of flavor to tuna salad. Spices, herbs, salt and pepper work diligently to create rich, deep flavors in food and bring all the moving pieces of a dish together.
A well-sharpened knife is a worthwhile investment and makes preparing food a more enjoyable experience. Chopped herbs are best used before serving. To maximize the flavor of the herbs, you'll need to chop them as finely as possible. The finer you chop the herbs, the more oils will be released and the more fragrant the herb will become. Herbs are an essential part of any master chef's kitchen arsenal.
With a sharp knife or scissors and a little bit of knowledge about how to use them, you can take your dishes to the next level.