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I want to make batches of Salsa Verde* fast and fresh, 8 to 12 serves at a time

It normally requires a large amount of knife work to get everything finely chopped and crushed. How can I speed up this process?

The liquid part can be pre-measured and mixed, the egg yolk only takes a second to separate and mix in. But the fresh herbs take time to chop finely without destroying them, and the final mixing and crushing in the herbs and spices takes time

Food processors do not make a satisfactory result, it looks and tastes like baby food

* Salsa Verde - based on Italian style

  • Parsley, chopped
  • Coriander (cilantro), chopped
  • Oregano, chopped
  • Garlic, sliced and crushed
  • Smoked dried chillies, crushed
  • Salt (powdered)
  • Olive oil
  • Coriander oil (a few drops)
  • Egg yolk
  • Lemon juice
  • Vinegar
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The thing you linked to is not using a food processor. The "Magic Bullet" appears to be basically a blender. Have you actually tried with a food processor? –  Jefromi Mar 2 '12 at 17:33
    
@Jefromi Yes, with a variety of sizes, styles, and chopping blades –  TFD Mar 3 '12 at 9:13
    
Interesting - I'm pretty sure I've seen someone successfully do something like this with a food processor, but I don't remember what sort it was. –  Jefromi Mar 3 '12 at 17:09
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3 Answers

Even for 12 servings, the total quantity of herbs is small; so, in my opinion, the best way to chop it is with knife.

Maybe you need to improve your technique.

Use a big sharp knife, on a big cutting surface.

Get all the herbs aligned and press them together with your left hand (or your right hand if you are lefty like me) in a tight pile over the surface.

Lean the side of the knife on your fingers, placing the tips of the fingers away from the cut.

Practice and you'll see that it's fast and easy and the results are the best.

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My knife skills are fine, but for that many serves, and to get it fine enough to release full flavour it still takes about five minutes to produce a batch. Just trying to do this faster –  TFD Mar 4 '12 at 6:23
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TFD,

You can use a food processor for this, the trick is not to overprocess. I have some "mini-choppers" I used to keep around for exactly this kind of task. Here's the steps:

  1. Roughly chop the herbs, into about equal-sized pieces.
  2. Pulse them in the mini-chopper for 5s to 10s at a time. This may require mixing them around with a small spatula between pulses.
  3. Stop when they reach "finely minced" consistency.
  4. Don't try to pulse garlic, dried peppers, and herbs together. They chop at different rates, and you'll end up with one of the other thing being overprocessed.

If you are fast with it, a good sharp cleaver, 8" chef's knife or santoku are still going to be faster, especially when you include cleanup time. However, a lot of people don't have the knife practice, or don't have really sharp knives.

From the knife perspective, I have a hand-forged carbon steel santoku which I use for chopping, and this has pretty much eliminated the food processor for me. A long-bladed, heavy, really sharp knife makes mincing take less than half the time.

I had a mezzaluna which I tried to use for herb chopping, and found it pretty much useless.

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can you add a picture or a link of the type of processor you use for this –  TFD Mar 4 '12 at 6:21
    
Pre-chopping -- or even microplaning -- the garlic helps it not end up underprocessed. –  Josh Caswell Mar 4 '12 at 22:10
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TFD: something like this one: consumersearch.com/food-processors/… I have a no-name brand one which does chop small amount of herbs fairly well; not sure why the complaints about the cuisinart. –  FuzzyChef Mar 5 '12 at 1:21
    
@FuzzyChef thanks, I will see if I can find one to try –  TFD Mar 6 '12 at 1:13
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For rapidly chopping herbs, a mezzaluna is a great tool. I like my single-handed version but the double-handed kind seems more common.

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+1 Ahhh, forgot to mention that. Already evaluated that. And it does not seem to be that much of an improvement for a quality result. From my limited experience it tends to make an irregular chop, unless you go over it many times, and then you end up with mostly mush –  TFD Mar 2 '12 at 2:38
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