Q. I recently came across a recipe that called for "basil chiffonade." I am unfamiliar with this term.
A. "Chiffonade" is a French cooking term that literally means "in rags." It refers to a method of slicing food -- usually lettuce, basil, or other leafy greens -- into thin, string-like pieces.
The method for making chiffonade is really quite simple. First, stack your leafy greens, then roll them up like a cigar. Slice your "cigar" thinly, crosswise, and, as if by magic, you will have chiffonade.