The Best Way to Prep Lettuce for a Salad Is by Violently Smashing It on a Table (No Really, I Swear!)

updated Feb 25, 2021
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Credit: Ashley Abramson

Imagine, for a moment, you’re about to put together a delicious summer salad, with crunchy romaine as the primary ingredient. You pull your lettuce from the crisper and realize that, wow, you have a bit of pent-up rage to let out. Simply pulling the lettuce from the stalk won’t do, nor will cutting the bottom off the bunch. No: You have a hankering to get a little more hands-on, even violent, with your lettuce. 

If that’s the case, then do I have the food prep hack for you. According to a now-viral TikTok video by @nutritionbabe, if you hold your romaine upright and smash the bottom against your countertop, you’ll end up with perfectly cut lettuce. 

I Tried the Viral Lettuce Hack from TikTok

Of course, being that I love salad and also felt slightly ornery, I had to try it. Guess what? Nutrition Babe is not wrong! I grabbed a four-pack of lettuce from Target, pulled one out of the package, and smashed away, as instructed. My end result didn’t look as neat as hers — the bottom didn’t quite pop off (retrospectively, I probably needed more force). But the leaves did separate cleanly.

Credit: Ashley Abramson

Incidentally, on my nightly TikTok scroll, I found a similar trick for iceberg lettuce, so I’m assuming it would work for cabbage, too, and maybe cauliflower if you’re feeling daring? Now, I’m ruminating on the physics of the harder, spherical shape, and whether or not I want to add a wedge salad to this week’s meal plan.

I don’t think I saved any time smashing my lettuce, to be honest. Quickly cutting off the bottom seems just as simple, plus a little cleaner. But the drama of this trick has not been lost on me — I’ll be keeping this hack in my mental Rolodex for next time I feel mad at my lettuce.

Credit: Kitchn