DIY herb stripper

DIY herb stripper

If you're like me, you love to browse through kitchenware catalogs. (In my case it runs a close second to perusing cookbooks.) We may already have cupboards and drawers overflowing with bowls, pans, and kitchen tools, but it's still fun to see the new cookware and gadgets or swoon over the newest color of Le Creuset. Sometimes the browsing even provides inspiration.

That's what happened recently, after I viewed the Chef'n® ZipStrip™ Herb Zipper. I was intrigued by its simple yet effective design. My favorite rosemary  chocolate chip shortbreads were calling me, but I don't like getting my fingers sticky when stripping the rosemary by hand. The herb stripper allows you to quickly strip the leaves without handling them at all. The beauty lies in its simplicity: the stripper is nothing more than holes in plastic through which the stem of a woody herb like rosemary, thyme, or lavender is pulled. The leaves are larger than the holes, so they get efficiently stripped off the stem. But I surely didn't need another tool to clutter my already crammed drawers, so I turned my eye to repurposing a tool that I already owned.

herbs

It turns out that I had three different tools that could be used in a manner similar to the herb stripper: a lemon zester, an herb/tea infuser, and a melon baller. Each of them has holes of varying sizes, and the diameter of the stem determines which tool is best. The infuser often wins because it has the smallest holes. As a bonus, it serves as a handy cup to hold the leaves. Just put the stem into the inside of the cup, hold it upright, and pull the stem out through the bottom.

Do you have any repurposed kitchen tool tips that you'd like to share?

6 Comments

  • ellabee  on  5/17/2015 at 1:48 PM

    Not feeling the magic here; I'd rather rinse my rosemary-sticky fingers than wash a tea ball well enough to make sure it doesn't impart rosemary flavor the next time it's used for its intended purpose...

  • LDGourmet  on  5/17/2015 at 2:32 PM

    my favorite repurposing of tools: - tea ball for dusting flour or confectioner's sugar (this style: http://bit.ly/1GhDQ2E) - melon baller for coring apples and not a repurposing but a good tip for pie season: a shaker filled with half sugar/half flour AKA "crust dust" works beautifully to absorb extra juicy pie fillings and keep bottom crust from sogging...dust bottom crust before filling. (Thx to Gesine Bullock Prado) and also use for muffins dusting bottom of paper liner before filling Happy baking! Going to try the rosemary/thyme trick.

  • Cubangirl  on  5/17/2015 at 5:30 PM

    I rather do it by hand as well. I use thin latex cooking safe gloves if I don't want sticky. Wash my hands with gloves on when finished and reuse when using for herbs, etc. not proteins.

  • darcie_b  on  5/17/2015 at 6:47 PM

    I haven't used that tea ball for tea for quite some time - it usually gets used for whole spices in stews. To be honest, I haven't noticed that it keeps any aroma. I just throw it in the dishwasher.

  • digifish_books  on  5/18/2015 at 12:17 AM

    I find rosemary is easy enough to strip by hand, just by holding the stem firmly and dragging the leaves off in opposite direction of growth. Thyme stems are much softer (esp. the new growth) and I reckon they would just snap in the Chef'n device. I will try the tea ball idea, though, as picking thyme by hand is a bit of a pain.

  • mfto  on  5/18/2015 at 7:27 AM

    I avoid stripping herbs at all when possible. My favorite tomato sauce is Lidia Bastianich's Twenty-minute marinara sauce. She buries a stalk of basil in the simmering sauce and after 20 minutes removes and discards the stalk. Before serving, top the sauce with freshly chopped basil. Another recipe by David Lebovitz is Lamb tagine. He adds 1 bunch of cilantro tied with a string to the tagine to cook with the stew and removes it before serving.

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