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Last month I went out for lunch with my fellow Blogging Angels and got a delicious salad. It was one of those great places where you can add whatever you want and then they toss it in a big bowl with dressing and charge you an insane amount of money. But I don’t care, those salads are always so much better than the ones I make at home (and I make awesome salads).
But this time, they asked me if I wanted it chopped, and of course I said yes, because chopped salads taste even better than regular salads. You get every single flavor in your salad in each bite. I watched in amazement as they fed my salad into a big machine that spit it out chopped!
Since that lunch, I’ve been obsessed with making chopped salads at home. I researched all the different gadgets you can get for chopping salad and decided to try the Silvermark Toss & Chop. It’s like two pairs of scissors glued together with a little scoop on the bottom. It also has a little clip that holds everything closed for storage – very good design. The blades are very sharp and you wouldn’t want to come across them while rummaging through a drawer.
I gathered my ingredients. I tore the lettuce leaves, used a peeler to slice the carrots, cut the onion into big chunks, and left the grape tomatoes and chickpeas whole.
I set a timer for two minutes and got to work. The instructions said to hold the Toss & Chop in one hand and steady the bowl in with the other, scooping up salad and then moving on to another area, so that’s what I did. After two minutes, my arm was killing me and the salad looked like this:
I had chopped a lot of it, but not very small, and not uniformly – there were plenty of pieces still almost untouched.
I went to work again, but this time, I held the Toss & Chop perpendicular to the bottom of the bowl and squeezed with both hands. I was able to get a lot more control this way, work faster, and not tire my arms out so quickly. I stopped every 30 seconds or so to toss the salad around and see which parts still needed work. After about two minutes more I had a very nicely chopped salad! There were a few pieces of onion that were bigger than the rest, and a couple of chickpeas had remained whole, but that was it. Everything else was done beautifully. The blades were even sharp enough to actually cut the tomatoes instead of smooshing them.
I tossed it with some croutons and dressing and was done. But – and trust me on this part – before I sat down to eat my salad I rinsed the Toss & Chop off and left it on a towel to dry. If you leave it until later, even a little later, you’ll be digging bits of lettuce out of the grooves with a toothpick. But rinse it off right away and it takes about ten seconds to get completely clean.
My salad was absolutely delicious. I’m not sure I’d make the effort every time I make a salad to chop it, but it’s nice to know that doing so only adds a few minutes to the prep. Now I just have to invite Rebecca over for salad – not sure that’s enough to get her to Brooklyn though.