will I or will I not keep my herb mincer

off to a rolling start

Looking at this rolling herb mincer with its nine blades I thought it should make short work of mincing parsley for a simple garnish called Gremolata. Taking out the chopping board, parsley washed and dried, the herb mincer at hand…and its off to a rolling start…or so I thought.

A couple of quick rolls over the parsley and my thoughts were “you’ve just ruined my lovely fresh parsley.” The parsley very quickly got stuck between the blades and looked mangled, bruised, wet and started to turn my chopping board green. Not good! The blades are very blunt and I am sure that is one good reason for my badly bruised parsley. Also this herb mincer has a curved top which dragged the parsley into the blades and it all just got stuck. So, putting the herb mincer aside and taking the reliable chopping knife out, I finished the job in a breeze.

quick and easy

Gremolata is a combination of lemon zest, garlic, parsley, and olive oil, preparation only takes a couple of minutes and is best made close to serving time. Traditionally an addition to Osso Bucco (braised veal shanks), Gremolata is also great as a garnish on grilled meats and seafood.

Geremolata

Ingredients:

  • zest of one lemon
  • 1  small garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
Useful Kitchen Jewellery:
  • knife
  • chopping board
  • citrus zester

 How to make: In a small bowl mix all the above ingredients together and let the Gremolata stand for about 10 minutes before serving, so all the flavours can blend together. Sprinkle over grilled meats and seafood of your choice.

the last word

There are many brands and designs of herb minces on the market and I am sure some may have better blades, however the herb mincer is not a kitchen tool that I would rush out to buy, a chopping knife or mezzaluna is my preferred choice for chopping herbs. I will not be putting this rolling herb mincer back into the kitchen drawer for further use. It has been suggested that I use it for cutting fresh pasta sheets into ribbons but I think I will leave that job for my pasta machine.

 

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do you have a herb mincer?

forgotten kitchen tool

This rolling herb mincer was right at the back of the kitchen drawer and I had nearly forgotten that I  even owned one. I have no idea how long it has been in the drawer, but I know it has been there for some time.

The herb mincer was given to me, possibly by my mother on one of her visits to see me. Mum knows how much I like kitchen tools and I guess she thought I just might need one of these. With all it’s rolling blades the herb mincer looks like it will deliver as a kitchen tool, and I do like how it looks. However if memory serves me correctly I do not think it had lived up to what is was supposed to do.

The herb mincer is not a kitchen tool that I would go out and buy because I generally chop or mince herbs using  a knife, scissors or a mezzaluna. Everything deserves a second chance so lets see if I find this herb mincer useful with some of my recipes…will keep you posted.

fresh Parmesan please

DSC08693A little bit of information

Many people think that the massive wheels of Grana Padano, the semi-aged hard Italian cheese, are maybe a cheaper knock-off of better known Parmigiana-Reggiano, says Lou DiPalo, part of the fourth generation to run DiPalo’s Fine Foods in Little Italy. In fact, he says, Grana is a great cheese in its own right and well-known in Italy. Grano Padano is a subtler and less nutty and salty than Parmigiano, says DiPalo, with a more delicate flavor that he prefers on risotto or when you don’t want to overpower a dish.

via Know your Italian cheeses: Grana Padano vs. Parmigiana-Reggiano – New York Daily News.

The above link does not exist anymore… will up-date soon.

Fresh is best

None of that dried Parmesan cheese that you get in packets will ever find its way into my cooking, you cannot compare the flavour against  fresh Parmesan. Sometimes I like having more visible Parmesan cheese in my food, so shaving the Parmesan cheese with my swivel vegetable peeler makes it an easy job.

So easy

Run a swivel vegetable peeler along the narrow side of a chunk of Parmesan to obtain thin shavings of cheese.

Add a burst of flavour and make your food look good:

  • Top a caesar salad with some Parmesan shavings or toss them with a green leafy salad with fresh strawberries and balsamic dressing
  • Scatter some Parmesan shavings over a freshly baked pizza before serving
  • Before serving I like to garnish risotto and pasta dishes with a small bundle of Parmesan shavings, piled on top of the food.

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