Quick Tip: How to Strip the Leaves from Herbs

Picking each individual leaf from a sprig of rosemary or thyme is one of the most boring and mind-numbing kitchen tasks we can think of. Happily, there is a little trick that makes it much easier!

You can actually strip all the leaves off of the stem in one fell swoop. Pinch the stem near the top with the fingers of one hand. Then run the fingers of your other hand down the length of the stem from top to bottom. This forces the leaves to break off from the stem right where they connect, leaving you with a naked stem in one hand and a pile of leaves on your cutting board!

This works best with herbs that have fairly woody stems, like rosemary, oregano, and thyme. If the stems are so tender that they snap, they're usually tender enough to eat, so we just chop those up along with the leaves.

Do you have another technique?

Related: Hot or Not? Herbs in Tubes from Gourmet Garden

(Image: Flickr member The Bitten Word licensed under Creative Commons)