by Staff Writer
Wooden salad bowls need to be seasoned to prevent drying and cracking. This is particularly important for salad bowls that are unfinished. If your bowl is properly cared for and cleaned, the seasoned flavor and fragrance of garlic and herbs will be preserved. Proper maintenance will result in a well-seasoned wooden salad bowl, which will become more aromatic with age.
Saturate a clean paper towel with olive oil. Rub the inside of the wooden salad bowl thoroughly with the paper towel, being sure to cover the entire area.
Set the bowl aside and allow it to absorb the oil for at least 24 hours. Do not use the bowl until the surface is dry to the touch. This process should be performed only before the bowl's first use or after being exposed to water, as it will season naturally with time and further use.
Season wooden salad bowls before each individual use by rubbing the inside with a freshly peeled clove of garlic. Cut the garlic in half, place the cut side down and rub over the entire inside of the salad bowl. Over time, the bowl will absorb the garlic taste and aroma.
If you like, you can sprinkle one to two teaspoons of salt inside the bowl before each use to further season the bowl. Rub the salt into the bowl using the cut clove of garlic or a paper towel soaked in olive oil. This step may be omitted if you need to keep your salt intake limited.
Drain the wooden salad bowl immediately after each use and wipe it down with a clean paper towel. Do not rinse the bowl in water, as this can wash away or dilute the seasoning. Polish the bowl with an oiled paper towel after wiping it clean, and then store the bowl in a cheesecloth bag to prevent cracking.
Use your wooden salad bowl for serving salad greens only. Other foods may destroy the seasoning or result in the need for washing with water.
If fresh garlic is too strong for your taste, rub a small crust of bread with garlic and use the bread to rub the inside of the salad bowl.
If it becomes necessary to clean your wooden salad bowl with soap and water, it will need to be seasoned again. Begin by oiling and allowing the bowl to sit overnight to absorb the oil before using.