I love having shredded lettuce for sandwiches, tacos, and salads. When making sandwiches for a large group, I wanted to shred the lettuce ahead of time.
I've cut lettuce with my bread knife and over time, guess what happens?
Yeah, it goes brown and yucky.
Lettuce, when cut or torn, succumbs to oxidation. Just like cut apples, green guacamole, or a ripe olive.
The age old question: What causes more damage, cutting or tearing?
Actually, it doesn't seem to make much of a difference, according to the Dept. of Chemistry at McGill University.
Well, what about cutting with a metal knife? Does the metal make the lettuce oxidize faster?
I think so.
Let's see what a $3 plastic lettuce knife will do. This is a Mainstays lettuce knife from Walmart.
The core is taken out by hitting it on a kitchen counter and twisting it out.
Cutting the head into quarter sections and laying the flat side down on the cutting board makes it easier to slice the lettuce.
The cut lettuce is rinsed and spun dry in my Oxo Salad Spinner. I believe getting your lettuce as dry as possible is another key element to keeping your lettuce from going brown more quickly.
I packed the dried lettuce into a food safe plastic bag and put it in the fridge.
The lettuce stayed pretty and green for two days; then it started to brown.
As for the lettuce knife, it is a little flimsy (I would prefer a sturdier one), but it did the job.
I can live with that!