I don’t own a salad spinner, and I don’t want one. It’s not because I don’t like them. In fact, the opposite it true – I think they’re nifty, fantastic gadgets. Who doesn’t love a hand-powered gizmo that uses centrifugal force (yep, I remember something from my high school physics class) to separate water from lettuce? It’s a great little party trick: just put soaking wet salad greens in this ordinary-looking device, put this ordinary-looking lid on it, turn a ordinary-looking crank, and SHAZAM! Your greens are dry and ready for any salad you could possibly dream up!
Unfortunately, I have a kitchen with very limited space, and I wouldn’t use a salad spinner nearly enough to justify the storage space it would take up (waffle irons and immersion blenders fall in the same category). I’ve lived on my own for over a decade now, and have never even considered buying a salad spinner. Granted, for most of those years, I wasn’t making many salads at home. But salads have been a dietary staple during the past two years, and even now, I don’t ever walk by a salad spinner display at the store and get tempted, with lust in my eyes, to pick one out for purchase.
I can thank the supermarket for squashing any desire I might have for salad spinner possession, because pre-washed, pre-chopped greens are so readily available, and in so many varieties. Even my favorite greens vendor at the farmers market pre-washes their merchandise – according to their signage, they triple-wash it (which I think is excessive, but I still buy it). Any type of lettuce or lettuce mix I could want is available ready-to-eat.
Even though a salad spinner just doesn’t fit into my life, I still enjoy a gadget, and I had a little ‘drop-everything’ moment when I came across this product a few weeks ago:
What’s this? A bag that spins salad? I was instantly hooked. I bought a package. Here’s what a Spin’n Stor bag looks like:
Yesterday, I tried out one of the bags for the first time. On Tuesday, I bought some lettuce as part of my produce haul from Whole Foods. What I learned, as I perused the lettuce section at Whole Foods, is that I know jackshit about lettuce. The problem with eating pre-washed “mixed baby greens” or “spring mix” is that I never bothered to learn what the individual greens were. I know a few varieties, like iceberg, romaine, and spinach, but there’s a whole world of lettuces out there, with names like escarole, Boston, mache, and frisee, that I know I’ve eaten hundreds of times but couldn’t pick out of a line-up if my life depended on it. Further complicating matters was that the lettuce section at Whole Foods was terribly confusing. I wasn’t certain if the signs were referring to the lettuces on the shelf above or below, and some piles of lettuce had two signs. I’m not exactly sure what I came home with, but here it is – I picked it out because it was pretty, and if you can identify it, please do so in the comments section:
I cut out the core, gave it a rough chop and washed it in my sink:
Then I loaded the lettuce into the bag:
And then I spun it. I spun it like a crazy person, in big loops with my arm fully extended, like a softball pitcher. The bag worked! The water drained into a reservoir at the bottom. Look how much water it collected!
(Yep, I’m watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while making lunch)
The cool thing about the bag is that there’s another panel, called the turbo drain, that allows you to drain the water out of the reservoir without it touching the lettuce. Then, you can twist-tie the bag, and store the lettuce until you’re ready to use it, or, if you’re like me and have no patience, you can make a salad immediately:
I added tomato, scallion, zucchini, green pepper, cucumber, and some fake bacon bits. I also used a nonfat vinaigrette, but I didn’t add that until after I photographed it.
Oh, and the bags are reusable. The package contained 4 of them, and each can be used 8-10 times. I foresee a lot of salad in my future!
Keep it up, David!