Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When I add basil to a dish should I tear or cut basil leaves? Does it matter?

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Tearing is for artistic effect

Some people will claim tearing does not damage the cell of the plant as much as cutting, a simple look under a basic microscope will show you otherwise. Not sure how this would affect basil in particular. What dish are you preparing?

If you want more basil flavour and smell, cut it more finely, or bruise it (back of knife or rolling pin) to release more oils just before serving

share|improve this answer
    
If you want a case study of tearing, this question may be of interest. –  Bryan Dunsmore Jun 12 '12 at 13:50
add comment

If you choose to cut basil with a knife, gently rub olive oil all over it before you cut it, this will prevent the leaves from darkening , particularly if you are using it in a salad.

share|improve this answer
1  
Great tip, you must really know your basil –  dibs Jun 13 '12 at 0:20
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.