Tear Up Herbs And Leaves With Your Hands

Tear Up Herbs And Leaves With Your Hands
Photo: Claire Lower

Even after a weekend of minimal cooking, my partner and I still managed to generate (and wash) four entire sinks’ worth of dishes on Friday and Saturday. After the last “load” was completed yesterday morning, I decided to reward myself with a celebratory brunch hash made with the remnants of a baked potato and a new batch of homemade breakfast sausage (recipe forthcoming).

I managed to prep and cook the entire dish in a single skillet—I used a spatula to break up the potato and sausage—but when it was time to finish my meal with a sprinkling of green onions, I found that I really did not want to dirty (and then clean) my chef’s knife and cutting board yet another time. So I tore them up. With my hands. It worked out quite well.

Not only was it faster and cleaner, but the bigger, heartier, crunchier pieces of allium held their own against against the meaty, cheesy, salty hash way better than delicate, thin rings. It was a win for both function and flavour, is what I am saying, which means it is a win for everyone.

But the fun doesn’t begin and end with scallions, no no. We’ve covered ripping mushrooms with your hands for a better sauté, but you can also tear heads of romaine and butter lettuce into bite-sized pieces. (My one complaint with salads that other people make is that they rarely chop or tear the leaves small enough; big leaves look pretty on a plate but stupid when you can’t get them in your mouth without slapping yourself in the face.) You can also tear leafy herbs, like basil, mint, and sage, and then tell your family “dinner is served with hand-torn basil.” Not only will they be impressed by your elevated, chef-y presentation, but (later) grateful that there is at least one less item to wash.

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