Coring, Washing and Preparing Iceberg Lettuce: Getting it Done In About 5 Minutes

Think making a salad takes too long for your busy lifestyle? Think again. An entire head of iceberg lettuce can be easily and quickly cored, washed and prepared in about 5 minutes making it the ideal go-to choice for people on the go, and busy families. With a little practice you can get the job done and have fresh, healthy lettuce for your burgers, sandwiches and, of course, your salads.  Here’s how.

Remove the outer wrapping (if there is any) from the head of lettuce.

Find the protruding part of the core of the lettuce. It’s the hard, knobby piece that generally sticks out of the bottom centre of the head.  Position the core so that it is directly above a hard, stable surface (a waist-high kitchen counter is ideal).

Holding the head of lettuce firmly with both hands (and with the core still facing down), lift the lettuce up over your head and bring it down with as much force as possible, hitting the core directly onto the hard surface. This will literally knock the core right into the head of lettuce and completely loosen it.  If you’re unsure as to whether the core has been completely dislodged, repeat the motion.

Turn the head of lettuce over, and gently twist and pull the core out. It should be very easy, very loose. You should be left with a coreless head of lettuce that has a wide hole in the bottom.

Take the head of lettuce and fill it up completely through the hole at the bottom, with cold running water. Let the water also run between the rest of the leaves.

After the head has been completely filled up, turn off your tap, give the head a few good shakes. Then turn it over over the sink. Allow all of the water to drain out of the head of lettuce.  You may have to ‘help’ this process along by giving another firm shake or two.

Repeat the filling and draining of the head a couple of more times until you are satisfied that the lettuce is clean.

Fold up a thick clean tea towel until it is a square, and just large enough for the head of lettuce to rest upon. Place the clean lettuce onto the tea towel, hole down. Regardless of how much water drained into the sink, or how hard you shook it, there will be significant draining to follow. The tea towel will absorb this.  Let the head rest on the towel for 1-2 minutes.

Give the lettuce one last shake over the towel or sink. Position it on a cutting board and cut it in half.

Chop the first, and then second half three or four times length-wise, and then width-wise in a criss-cross pattern. This will make semi-uniform pieces of the entire head very quickly.

Scoop up the washed and prepared lettuce into a large salad bowl and top, dress or garnish as desired.

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