Last month I went out for lunch with my fellow Blogging Angels and got a delicious salad. It was one of those great places where you can add whatever you want and then they toss it in a big bowl with dressing and charge you an insane amount of money. But I don’t care, those salads are always so much better than the ones I make at home (and I make awesome salads).
But this time, they asked me if I wanted it chopped, and of course I said yes, because chopped salads taste even better than regular salads. You get every single flavor in your salad in each bite. I watched in amazement as they fed my salad into a big machine that spit it out chopped!
Since that lunch I’ve been obsessed with making chopped salads at home. I researched all the different gadgets you can get for chopping salad and decided to try the Silvermark Toss and Chop. It’s like two pairs of scissors glued together with a little scoop on the bottom. It also has a little clip that holds everything closed for storage – very good design. The blades are very sharp and you wouldn’t want to come across them while rummaging through a drawer.
I gathered my ingredients. I tore the lettuce leaves, used a peeler to slice the carrots, cut the onion into big chunks, and left the grape tomatoes and chick peas whole.
I set a timer for two minutes and got to work. This instructions said to hold the Toss and Chop in one hand and steady the bowl in with the other, scooping up salad and then moving on to another area, so that’s what I did. After two minutes, my arm was killing me and the salad looked like this:
I had chopped a lot of it, but not very small, and not uniformly – there were plenty of pieces still almost untouched.
I went to work again, but this time I held the Toss and Chop perpendicular to the bottom of the bowl, and squeezed with both hands. I was able to get a lot more control this way, work faster, and not tire my arms out so quickly. I stopped every 30 seconds or so to toss the salad around and see which parts still needed work. After about two minutes more I had a very nicely chopped salad! There were a few pieces of onion that were bigger than the rest, and a couple of chickpeas had remained whole, but that was it. Everything else was done beautifully. The blades were even sharp enough to actually cut the tomatoes instead of smooshing them.
I tossed it with some croutons and dressing and was done. But – and trust me on this part – before I sat down to eat my salad I rinsed the Toss and Chop off and left it on a towel to dry. If you leave it until later, even a little later, you’ll be digging bits of lettuce out of the grooves with a toothpick. But rinse it off right away and it takes about ten seconds to get completely clean.
My salad was absolutely delicious. I’m not sure I’d make the effort every time I make a salad to chop it, but it’s nice to know that doing so only adds a few minutes to the prep. Now I just have to invite Rebecca over for salad – not sure that’s enough to get her to Brooklyn though.
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