Making a chopped salad may be time consuming because the cook has to cut each vegetable into small, bite-sized pieces, but for many it's worth the effort. Using a chopper to make the salad makes the process quicker and easier for most. Sturdy vegetables also make preparing a chopped salad easier. Dressing is a key component of the chopped salad, too. A cook should avoid using too much dressing and should coat each part of the salad evenly.
It's very difficult to chop vegetables such as leafy greens into small, bite-sized pieces. One tip for making a chopped salad is to use sturdy greens, such as romaine lettuce or even iceberg lettuce. A cook can chop those greens without too much bruising or tearing.
For some people, using a chopper, which allows a person to push a number of vegetables through a grid of blades at one time, makes preparing a chopped salad a snap. The chopper cuts each vegetable to the same size, which improves the visual appeal of the salad. A cook with excellent knife skills won't need a chopper, though, and may even find it quicker to simply use a sharp chef's knife to chop the vegetables.
A chopped salad should be a mix of several different textures and tastes. Using vegetables that are extremely watery will make the texture of the salad soggy and generally unappetizing. As part of the chopping process, a cook should take out any watery parts from a vegetable. For example, she should remove the seeds from a cucumber or a tomato. Small, cherry tomatoes are preferable for a salad, because they are sturdier in texture than larger ones. Beans, cubes of cheese, and pieces of meat, such as bacon or salami, also belong in a chopped salad.
To prevent the salad from becoming soggy before it is consumed, a cook should store all the chopped vegetables separately. Carrots should go in one dish, tomatoes in another, and greens in a third, for example. Just before serving, the components can be mixed together.
Salad dressing is a key part of a chopped salad. It should be added just before serving to keep the flavor fresh and prevent the salad from becoming soggy. After mixing the vegetables together, the cook can add a tablespoon or so of the dressing to the salad in a large bowl. She can use a salad fork to stir and coat the vegetables. If the bowl has a lid, she can cover it and shake it to evenly distribute the dressing.