Item: Chef'n Looseleaf Kale & Greens Stripper
Overall Impression: Yes, this gadget falls into the unitasker category, but it does make the chore of de-stemming your favorite leafy greens and herbs a little bit easier. For someone who makes a lot of salads, it is an inexpensive and easy-storing gadget to add to your kitchen.
One of my favorite salads calls for de-stemming two bunches of kale, and ripping off the leaves on each side of the stem seems to take forever. I've tried the trick of running the kale through my fingers (in a similar motion to this kale stripper) to separate the leaves from the stalk, but I've never quite gotten the hang of that trick. Ideally the kale stripper with the rigid plastic edge would be a little bit stronger at removing those leaves.
My Review of the Looseleaf Kale & Greens Stripper
I recently picked up a friend's CSA share while she and her fiancé were on vacation. That means I had a lot of greens to use in short order. Luckily, I was able to put the Looseleaf greens stripper to use. I tested it out with both the Tuscan kale and rainbow chard I got as part of the share.
The chard had thicker stems than the kale and proved easier to use with the holes on the Looseleaf. The kale, on the other hand, was a bit more challenging. Maybe my kale just had thin stems, but none of the holes were sized quite right to strip most of the leaves in the bunch. I was able to use it on a few of them, though, and the stripper worked well on those. I'll be interested to try it the next time I have a bunch of curly kale as well, although I buy Tuscan kale more often.
I also tried the stripper with a few sprigs of thyme, and had a similar challenge with the stem size. I discovered it worked best to strip the pieces that had multiple sprigs still attached as one. Those were much easier to clean off. I think that when using it for rosemary, it might also help to go against the direction of the leaves to strip them off more easily.
Overall, the Looseleaf probably won't find a permanent home in my kitchen gadget collection, but it did save me a few minutes when preparing my favorite Tuscan kale and ricotta salata salad.
Chef'n Looseleaf Kale & Greens Stripper: Quick Summary
Characteristics and specs: The Chef'n Looseleaf is a small, hard plastic gadget about the size of an index card. It has four holes designed to fit the stems of leafy greens, like kale and chard, and four holes designed for herbs.
Favorite details: I love that the Looseleaf isn't going to take up a lot of space in the kitchen. As someone who has a total of two drawers in her kitchen and keeps most of her kitchen tools in a plastic storage bin, a small footprint is crucial for a new tool.
Potential problems: The problem I ran into was that even the smallest hole was still too large for some of the kale I was trying to strip. It worked on the larger stems in the bunch, but I would actually like a wider range of sizes.
Who would love this?: I think anyone who cooks with a lot of greens or herbs with tough stems would like this. It isn't necessarily a kitchen essential, but it does speed up the salad prep process. This gadget is also great for kids; because it's completely plastic, you don't have to worry about little hands getting hurt. Plus, it's pretty fun to use!
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.