Essential salad making tools that you need in your kitchen -my list for you!
I have shared with you my top tips to make great salads in this post. Once you have mastered the concepts of salad making, you can easily make restaurant quality salads at home.
I am not one to recommend appliances or gadgets for every task in the kitchen. But some of these are one time investments into healthy cooking and eating. Having the right gadgets makes the salad making process less laborious and more fun. Even kids love to operate the salad spinner, spiralizer, lemon squeezer and the julienne peeler etc. Involving them early on in the healthy cooking process in a good lesson for their future.
So here’s my list of essential salad making tools —
- Salad spinner – Soggy greens are a salad’s worst enemy. Moisture prevents the dressing from sticking to the ingredients and also dilutes the flavour of the dressing. A salad spinner is a round box with a basket inside and a fan like attachment on the top, which rotates when you crank the handle or press the large pedal outside the box. Ikea sells a good one, so do stores like Hema (not in India). Amazon has the Ikea salad spinner and it is a good buy.
- Colander – While the inner basket of the salad spinner can be used as a colander in a pinch, these metal colanders are useful not just to wash and drain ingredients but also to store fruits or tomatoes on your table for a pretty arrangement. I love this copper colander that combines beauty and functionality.
- Kitchen towels – In the absence of a salad spinner, you can lay out all the washed greens between two cotton kitchen towels. Kitchen towels should be 100% cotton, thin, and preferably white in colour so you know that they are spotlessly clean. You can also convert used cotton dupattas or sarees by folding and stitching the edges for this purpose. Govt. handloom brands like Co-optex have a huge variety of thin cotton towels which are also great for drying salad greens. Check these thin cotton towels from Kerala.
- Lemon squeezer / citrus squeezer – Lemon juice is one of the best ways to impart acidity to a salad dressing. I have had a disappointing run with lemon squeezers. The heavier ones with enamel coating lose the coating in a few months. The steel ones are designed badly and do not squeeze the lemon properly. The plastic ones are too delicate. They do not survive the harder lemons. I love citrus reamers like this marble and wood one, but then you need to fish out the seeds manually from the juice.
- Citrus zester – Using a sharp micro grater like tis one helps collect zest from citrus fruits which are the best flavour boosters in salad dressings.
- Spiralizer – The most fun way to deal with vegetables for a salad! Keep this on the counter for easy access and more frequent usage. My friend got a Vegitti Pro 3-blade Spiralizer for me from US, but it is available on Amazon. You can create three different types of spirals using the three blades. If you want a lesser expensive one, try the single blade one suited only for long vegetables spiralizer.
- Julienne peeler – This is the perfect little salad tool to peel carrots, radish, zucchini, cucumbers, sweet potatoes or any such long vegetables into noodles. For all other vegetables like potato, onion, beetroot, pumpkin etc, you will need to use a spiralizer. You can also use the regular peeler to shave carrots, zucchini etc. into ribbons.
- Excellent quality peeler – I prefer the Y peelers over all other peelers. Tupperware does a decent one but it feels too light weight and flimsy. The grip doesn’t feel adequate either. My personal favourite is the Fackelmann, very reasonably priced, lasts forever and I can peel a kilo of carrots in just over a minute with this power peeler. This is a super essential salad making tool whether to peel vegetables like carrots or to shave them into ribbons.
- Steamer – Salads need not be made using just raw veggies. There are people who cannot tolerate raw foods due to digestive issues. Also, some prefer warm salads / partly cooked salad, which is what I like in winters. Eating a bowl of cold raw vegetables just doesn’t cut it when the weather is cold. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, peas, carrots, beets can all be steamed and then tossed in a dressing to make a warm winter salad.
- Mini electric whisk /coffee frother- These are excellent for whizzing up creamy thick salad dressings in small quantities. Reserve a separate one for dressings and another for frothing your coffee. Best bought in lots of half a dozen at the IKEA store where it is available for – Amazon has a set of 3 IKEA whisks, which is a great buy, if you ask me. I’ve bought a couple of other brands online and they did not function well at all.
- Pepper grinder – One of the best condiments to wake up a salad is freshly ground black pepper. While I love the sleek battery operated pepper grinders, there is much satisfaction is using a solid wood pepper crusher.
- Ceramic plate grater – Both ginger and garlic are great flavour boosters in salad dressings. Using these ceramic grater plates gives a very fine, almost paste like consistency of ginger and garlic. When grated fresh and whisked into salad dressings, it elevates the flavour of the dressing and consequently the salad, making it one of the essential salad making tools.
- Really large salad bowl – Even if you are making a salad for one or two people, I always advise my workshop students to use the biggest bowl they can find. This ensures minimum bruising of salad leaves and you can toss away happily until the entire salad is well coated with dressing.
- Salad hands – While I prefer to toss my salads using my finger tips for least bruising, salad hands or bamboo salad tongs are great for serving salads. These also ensure that everyone gets a fair mix of ingredients while serving.
- And last but not the least, my book The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian has over 30 salad recipes using local ingredients and simple processes. Gift yourself or your friend a copy for inspiration for lifelong healthy eating.
I hope you found my list of essential salad making tools useful! Do let me know what is your favourite!
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