Over the Moon about Mezzalunas

JK Adams Mezzaluna

Product Reviewed:
JK Adams Herb Chopper and Bowl

When the New York Times featured an article on chopped salads, I knew the craze had hit the city hard. From chain shops to corner delis, salads everywhere are being turned into less-than bite-sized morsels with “half-moon” shaped mezzaluna knives. Personally, I prefer making my own salads. I like greens in big, leafy pieces; intact slices of avocado; and thick wedges of tomato. Maybe that’s why I’d never even entertained the idea of using a mezzaluna.

So using the JK Adams herb bowl chopper — a mezzaluna paired with an indented wooden cutting board — was a first for me. Getting the hang of using the blade (which is actually shaped more like a crescent than a half-moon) took me a few tries. But soon, I found the most comfortable way to hold my fingers and position my wrist. From then on, the herb chopping was smooth. Score! Unfortunately, the wooden handle was not so smooth. I didn’t like the ragged feel of it in my hands. If I could suggest one improvement to this tool, it would be to refine the pine.

I experimented with various ingredients in the herb bowl chopper: herbs, fruits, nuts and chocolate. A mezzaluna, though, really is best suited to its stated purpose. Nuts rolled around and jumped off the board, chocolate was too hard for the blade, and larger pieces of fruits and vegetables overwhelmed the small tool. But when I prepared the cauliflower salad below, I was able to chop a big bunch of parsley quickly, neatly and efficiently — I’d never have had the patience to do all that with a paring knife. Once I had cut the cauliflower into manageable chunks (a few inches each) with a chef’s knife, I used the chopper to whittle it down into fine, evenly-sized pieces that suited this dish perfectly.

If, like me, you don’t care for raw onion, leave this ingredient out. The salad is delicious and flavorful without it. If you’re an allium fan, use it as liberally as you like. As with the cauliflower, the first few cuts of the onion will need to be done with a chef’s knife. Once you’ve got it in manageable pieces, use the mezzaluna and board to achieve a finer chop.

This dish is lovely on its own. It can also be served over arugula or spinach, with hummus and pita, over quinoa, or in whatever creative presentation you choose.

Cara Anselmo on Twitter
Cara Anselmo
Cara Anselmo, MS, RDN, is a nutritionist and certified yoga instructor in New York City. Follow Cara on Twitter.