When last we spoke my current favorite kitchen gadget was the versatile and inexpensive microplane zester. And though there will always be room in my kitchen drawer for that valuable tool, I must admit a new gadget has move into the pole position of my kitchen. The Salad Spinner.
It's true. I thought I didn't need this large and single-use kitchen aid. I thought it would just be another self-space stealer. I was wrong. Salad spinners rock! Well actually, they spin and although I haven't found 25 different uses for it, the way I did for the zester, the one thing it does it does masterfully and effortlessly.
How it's used:
Tear up your lettuce, spinach, fresh herbs, kale, or other leafy veggie place them in the basket and run them under cool water. Place the basket in the outer bowl. Put on the lid. Press down the top plunger or turn a crank (all models are a little different) and watch as all the water flies to the outside and bottom of the basket. Leaving your fresh veggie clean and dry and ready for serving.
Why it's important:
On the slight chance that your not using organic greens, washing these veggies of pesticides and chemicals is extremely important. But even if you are using the organic type, a fresh leafy green like spinach is notorious for being dirty and sandy. In the past I've avoided fresh spinach using instead the frozen type because of the difficulty of getting the leaves clean enough. Also, using the spinner eliminates the need to dry the greens in a paper towel or cloth towel. I used to use a cloth towel but I never really felt I got all the water off which sometimes made my salads a little wet. Finally, the dryer the veggies the better salad dressing will stick on the greens which means that you won't need as much dressing on the salad.
What to look for:
Salad spinners are usually made of plastic so make sure the one you are buying is sturdy. The one I chose has a rubber non-skid bottom which I appreciate. The spinning mechanism will vary so try it out in the store before you buy it to make sure that it effortlessly spins and stops in a manner that you find easy and convenient. Look to spend between $15.00 to $30.00.