Q. How can I finely chop leaves of rosemary? The leaves are too hard when they're cooking in chicken or other dishes. I tried them in a small electric food chopper, but it didn't work well. I have tried drying them, but also had no success.
Rosemary can be tricky. It's an evergreen, so the needles and stems can be resinous, similar to pine.
First, make sure you're stripping the needles off the woody branch. You can discard the branch, or toss it on the coals the next time you're grilling, to give chicken or fish a hint of piney flavor.
You don't have to separate the individual clusters of needles, but you might find it easier to pull the larger clusters apart. Then just mince the leaves on a cutting board with a chef's knife, using a rocking motion.
In this climate, rosemary grows year-round when it's planted in the ground, so I've never bothered to dry it. Rosemary can be dried, but it can be unpleasantly hard or woody. Fresh is definitely better.