You’ve toiled over a dish, the plating is beautiful, and it’s shaping up to be just what you envisioned. There’s just one final step – a garnish with some chopped herbs – and the dish is done.
You reach for the herbs that you’ve just washed and chopped, and attempt a deft sprinkle, but it falls to the plate in clumps.
Where you had seen visions of crowds of people applauding your dish and chanting your name – ceremonies of you receiving keys to the city and all of that – you now see that with one fell swoop, you’ve visually tanked your dish.
Many have experienced this (including myself), and go through dark times as a result – sleepless nights and visions of wet parsley and dill taunting and jeering.
Fortunately, there is a solution. For only three payments of 19.99 you too can learn to chop herbs for garnish with the best cooks in the world – only joking.
In all seriousness, the solution to your clumpy, wet garnish woes, is to prep your garnish herbs at the beginning of your prep. Start by washing them as you normally do, then shake off as much water as possible, before drying them thoroughly with paper towel (you could also use a salad spinner, depending on the herbs).
Drying them thoroughly is absolutely key to getting nicely cut herbs for garnish, so dry them again if needed before chopping.
Once the herbs are chopped, set them aside, preferably on a flat surface, like a spare portion of your cutting board, or a plate. Then cook and finish your dish, and by the time it’s done, your herbs should be thoroughly dry, and ready to use as a garnish.
This is a no-brainer for many, including kitchen professionals, but for others of us (including myself), it’s a helpful tip that will elevate your dishes.