After I lost my salad spinner in the divorce, I resisted replacing it for several years. I was in the habit of buying pre-washed leaves for my salads — and living in a tiny studio apartment — so a bulky, dedicated drying device for greens didn’t seem like a necessity.
But then I moved into a house and started gardening, and found my usual system of air-drying rinsed produce on kitchen towels to be inefficient — it was just too much lettuce. I found this collapsible beauty from Prepworks, and immediately regretted all those years I had spent spinner-less.
I began eating more salad — with my homegrown greens — but I quickly learned that the spinner could be used to dry things other than romaine, thawed spinach, or vegetables that had been softened with a little salt — things like mushrooms, shrimp, and scallops.
Spin your shrooms
As you probably know, mushrooms are prone to absorbing water, but they also grow in dirt. I don’t like eating dirt (even the “clean” dirt commercially-grown mushrooms are harvested from), so I wash my mushrooms. A quick rinse won’t leave them water-logged, especially if you take them for a spin immediately after.
Even better, you can rinse your mushrooms directly in the basket of your salad spinner, then place it back in the spinner and spin it like you would a bunch of lettuce. Once the excess water has been flung to from your fungi, you’re ready to cook them how you usually would. I highly recommend starting with a dry, fat-free pan for the best possible sear.
Spin your seafood
Outside the realm of salads and shrooms, we have shrimps and scallops, both of which brown better if they are dried off before hitting the pan. Sure, you could blot them with paper towels, but you can also dry them in your spinner, which cuts down on paper waste and rids your seafood of excess surface moisture.
The procedure for drying shrimps and scallops in your salad spinner is the same as drying salad. Place them in the basket and spin it around. Once your tasty ocean treats are dry to the touch, remove them, sear them up good, and eat them. (Then make sure to wash your spinner. Efficiency is good, cross-contamination is not.)