How do you clean your freshly harvested salad greens?
Have you ever struggled with cleaning out all of the dirt and bugs from between your lettuces, swiss chard, kale, beet greens, herbs, arugula and any other cuttings? I have!
I used to work between sink, strainer and bowl and back again, rinsing and straining and it would take forever! I would place a large portion of the salad greens in one bowl, fill it with water, lift the greens out and into another bowl, which I would fill with water, lift up and back into the first bowl, to start the process all over again. Then I would use a strainer, then lay out my salad between paper towels to soak up the water. It took forever. At the end of a long and tiring day in the garden, I often left the salad soaking in a bowl overnight, to become stinky by morning. It was a big waste of time and effort!
Now I use one simple tool and it does all the work of straining, rinsing and soaking for me.
After many long and frustrating nights, I finally found my dream kitchen tool, a Salad Spinner! It’s an oldie, but a goodie folks.
When you look at a salad spinner, it consists of 3 parts – a bowl, a strainer and a lid. Amazing! All 3 parts fit perfectly together, making it a 3-in-one tool! A bowl for soaking, a strainer for straining out the water and a spinner, for drying your greens. It’s really amazing and so simple!
When I first purchased my salad spinner, I never thought to use it as a multi-purpose tool. I only ever used it once the salad greens were thoroughly washed. It was only after much fatigue and frustration, that I looked to it as my all in one wash, strain, and dry tool for salad greens.
Here’s how to use your salad spinner, in the most time efficient way:
Take a large portion of your salad greens and place them into the salad spinner. Fill your salad spinner with water and swish your hand around inside the bowl, to release any dirt or bugs. Lift out the strainer from the bowl and you will find dirt and debris remaining in the water. Dump out the water, place the strainer back in the bowl, to be filled again with water. Continue filling, swishing and straining out your salad greens. Every time you lift your strainer out of the bowl, you will see if any debris remains behind. Keep following these steps, until the water is clean.
After straining your salad greens for the last time, place the strainer back in the bowl and the lid on top. I use an OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner, so I pull back the latch to release the soft rubber knob, which gets pushed down several times, to initiate the spin. I find this very easy to use and it leaves my salad greens clean and damp, not wet or dripping. By spinning off most of the water, your lettuce will store better in the fridge and will not water down your salad dressing.
I’ve tried many other spinners, but I find this one to have the fastest spin. The knob is very easy to use, and I also appreciate the small black button, next to the large knob. It acts as a break, to stop the spin when needed. Another benefit of this particular spinner is the rubber feet. Many spinners are missing this important feature. This spinner allows me to initiate the spin with one hand. The rubber feet keep the bowl in place and prevent it from slipping.
I’ve tried spinners with a pull back rope, and they often flopped around the countertop and were unstable, when initiating the spin. I’ve also tried ones that have a spinning handle, but those are physically tiring and are difficult to get a good spin.
For me, this spinner works the best and cuts down a lot of my time in cleaning and drying my salad greens. The last thing I want to do after a long day in the garden, is come home and spend hours washing my harvest. Not only that, if you’re a busy mom like me, you want to spend as little time on tedious tasks as possible. We want garden harvesting to be fun and not a chore.
I’ve had this spinner for 10 years and it still works perfectly. It’s definitely paid for itself over the last decade and I don’t see it breaking down, any time soon.
I hope you find this technique as helpful for you, as it has been for me.
Please let me know what you use to clean and dry your salad greens and if you’ve tried this product in the past. I look forward to hearing from you.
Here are the tools that I mentioned in the post.