Did you know that chopping lettuce when you make a salad makes the edges brown and wilt faster? I just learned that. My mom and I were prepping for a little dinner get together later on that night, so were trying to keep everything as fresh as possible.
She stopped me knife-in-hand and told me to tear the leaves instead, which keeps them crisper and greener longer.
So I was a little confused when I recently saw a funny-looking, scissor-like thing sitting in the salad bowl at my dad’s house. “What the heck are these?” I asked. They’re called salad shears, especially designed for salad-making. But the ones he had were stainless steel, so “why don’t they make the lettuce wilt too?” I asked.
My dad’s answer was that it didn’t really matter since we were all about to eat anyway. But it seems a little silly to make a lettuce-cutting device out of a material that makes it wilt and oxide faster, no?
Chef’n makes a pair of salad shears that use nylon blades to prevent browning, and are even shaped to cut in the bowl. You can also find specialty “lettuce knives” with serrated, plastic blades that cut easily through greens and similarly keep chopped leaves fresh and crisp.
Or, you can just tear the leaves by hand, as my mom instructed me to do that night. If you’re working with a large amount, stack several leaves on top of each other, roll or fold them longways, and tear into pieces altogether.
Salad shears are certainly nice, and give your veggies clean, straight edges, but I’m not sure I’d rate them must-haves. Great for presentation, mostly practical. That’s my take. What’s yours?