Ina Garten’s Brilliant Use for a Kitchen Towel Changed Our Cooking Forever
Where Ina leads, we will follow.
When making a big, beautiful salad it’s important to start with clean greens. You can wash them, spread them out on a towel, and gently pat them dry, but I always find it difficult to get my greens as dry as I’d like while staying gentle. Of course, you can also use a salad spinner if you have one. But as much as I’d love to have a salad spinner, I can’t justify devoting space in my small kitchen to one more piece of equipment. Luckily, when I recently saw Ina Garten’s tip for how to dry salad greens sans spinner, I knew my problems were solved.
TikTok user @mamallenial recently posted a video showing a hack learned from Ina years ago. In the video, she puts rinsed greens in the center of a large kitchen towel, gathers the four corners of the towel in one hand, and swings the closed kitchen towel around in a circle.
The result is drier greens without the need for a single-use piece of kitchen equipment, and without wasting time gently patting lettuce dry. Commenters on the video were likewise impressed, saying, “I think you just changed my whole life” and, “This method works better than a salad spinner.”
Some commenters did express reservations about the technique, indicating that it might actually create some amount of mess, should things go awry. One commenter said, “I did this once but let go of a corner and I had lettuce EVERYWHERE.” Admittedly, an Allrecipes editor noted they tried the same trick as a kid after seeing Ina do it, and they accidentally created a bit of a rainshower in their kitchen as the water from the greens flew everywhere. Commenters on the TikTok video did have a solution for that, saying, “I take my bundle to the shower so I don’t get water all over the kitchen.”
Ina’s been recommending this trick for years, even as recently as last year in a segment with the "The Today Show." If it’s good enough for Ina, it’s good enough for me. (But I will be stepping outside or into the shower to avoid dousing my kitchen in water).