Lunch Hack: Use a Pizza Wheel To Chop Your Salad Directly in the Bowl

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A pizza wheel used directly in a bowl makes short work of chopped salads. [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

I know that our Account Executive and part time Snack Attack columnist Leandra is a genius in many ways. She can eat a bowl of cereal like nobody's business and still walk away to tear up a round of Janis Joplin songs at the karaoke bar without even breaking a sweat.

Even so, I had a bit of a shock-and-awe-style jaw-drop when I saw her making herself a salad for lunch earlier this summer. She dumped some whole spinach leaves into a bowl, added what I believed to be a lightly-chilled, slightly-aged veggie burger patty, then reached for the pizza wheel, and started rolling it over the greens directly in the bowl.

Now, there's no accounting for taste when it comes to salad ingredients, but there's no denying that her method for chopping was sheer brilliance from a purely lazy, I-don't-want-to-wash-a-cutting-board standpoint. I'll cop to having used it ever since.

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There's really not much to say about the process. You start by putting your ingredients in a bowl. Whole leaves of lettuce, semi-firm cheese like blue cheese or feta, boiled eggs, strips of bacon, olives, herbs, anchovies—whatever you'd normally stick into a chopped salad.

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Then you roll over it with a pizza wheel back and forth until it's chopped and incorporated. Dress it, and lunch is ready. I've shown it here with a metal bowl, which works fine, but it works even better with a plastic bowl.

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I would note that semi-firm, round foods like cherry tomatoes and olives don't chop very efficiently. This could be seen as a bug or a feature, though I'd lean towards the latter—I like having those bite-sized pieces in there.

Is genius pushing it? Well, maybe. But I'm happy to push anything that makes getting greens into my diet a little more streamlined.