A sharp knife is vital for preserving the flavour of fresh herbs
Fresh, fragrant herbs always bring a dish to life, and Gordon's starter on the big night is no exception - kicking off his menu: pan roasted scallops served with a tomato salsa infused with fresh basil and coriander. If you really want to make the most of the dish's delicate flavours, you need to know how to handle herbs like a chef. Thankfully Gordon's here to show us all how.
If you follow his simple rules and perfect your chopping action, the results are sure to impress. Master a good chopping action and you'll avoid leaving that green pulp behind on the chopping board - a sure sign that you've bruised your herbs and ruined their flavour.
Fresh herbs can generally be grouped into two categories. Hardy herbs - which include household favourites such as rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano - are tough, durable plants. They are generally added at the beginning of the cooking process and impart flavour throughout.
Delicate herbs - which include basil, coriander, mint and parsley - are very fragile and must be handled with real care. They are commonly used to finish a dish at the end of the cooking process because they quickly break down and lose flavour.
When buying fresh herbs, look for bright green leaves, lively stalks and a strong aroma. Avoid those that show any sign of wilting or yellowing. To store fresh herbs, remove them from their packaging, wrap them loosely in damp kitchen towel and place in a plastic Tupperware box in a cool place. Doing so will keep the herbs fresh for about a week.