I’m here to talk about salad servers because I’m dreaming of a better salad life. As I write this, I am yet again eating my lunch straight out of the serving bowl—and the only utensil in sight is a fork. These days, I mostly consume salads desk-side, and they mainly consist of last night’s leftovers plopped on top of lettuce. Each time I eat another sad salad, I dream of a beautifully made salad: massaged kale tossed with torn mozzarella, sturdy greens served atop a swoosh of hummus, crisp cucumber half-moons dressed in lime juice. All those proper salads deserve proper tongs. And, as much as I love my Oxo kitchen tongs, I don’t mean those.
Here, I’m talking about beautiful tongs. The ones that, in addition to working to efficiently coat each leaf in vinaigrette, will look stunning on a dinner table. In my search for the ideal pair, I learned there there are a zillion styles of salad serving utensils out there: the classic paddle-like wood ones, sleek stainless-steel claws, marbled resin numbers, and beyond. Here are the best-looking sets in a variety of styles, for your very best-looking (and tasting) salads, whether you’re digging in at your desk or—someday—enjoying with company at the table.
If you’re partial to Oxo kitchen tongs for tossing your salads, opt for a gussied up version for serving.
The handles on these Nambé servers make them technically scissors, not tongs—but they’re stunning. Of course, they’re great for serving salad, but they also make an excellent serving utensil for doling out chicken thighs, firm fish fillets, and vegetables.
These simple, curved stainless-steel salad tongs don’t look like they belong in a cafeteria.
Claws or hands
The best salad hands are big enough that you can carefully lift a big spoonful of greens and crunchy mix-ins without smushing anything.
These teak servers are so big, you could almost use for them racket sports—and I happen to love that about them.
$40.00, Sur La Table
Modernist hands like these would look right at home in a sleek white-tiled kitchen.
These elegant, rich cherrywood hands are ideal for gently clasping delicate greens.
The classic scoop-and-spear servers
Oversized fork-and-spoon combinations often come in clunky wood, but I prefer the metal versions, which add a little shine to the table and tend to be more versatile for serving dishes beyond salad.
This kingly set of copper servers is sure to dress up the table.
Playful Italian-made aqua servers from Guzzini are virtually indestructible—and they’re dishwasher-safe.
These elegant Georg Jensen salad servers are nimble enough to serve a variety of side dishes.
Hand-forged brass and intricate detailing set these salad servers apart from the lot. They’d look especially excellent with a smooth wood salad bowl, like this handmade one from Etsy.
This no-nonsense spoon and fork set is ideal for the streamlined kitchen—and only costs $10.
This French Art Deco set was designed for salad—but I’d also use the fork alongside a carving knife and the spoon with just about any saucy dish.
These prettily curved Laguiole servers are tough enough for indoor-outdoor dining and have a family-heirloom look about them.
$49.00, Sur La Table
Yes, leather wrapping means no dishwasher for these beauties—but salad servers this lovely might be a worthy exception to the no hand-wash rule.
Dramatically proportioned, saucer-like salad servers will zhuzh up your table.
The two-spoons approach
These spoon sets are expensive, yes—but they’d both make for unique and lasting gifts. (Particularly if you paired them with your favorite new cookbook—here are some ideas.)
Dinosaur Designs, an Australian designer specializing in sculptural resin jewelry, also dabbles in homewares. These gorgeous marbled servers are stunning enough to be left out on your open shelf.
$129.00, Matches Fashion
These ultramodern, very gift-ready (and splurgy) disk servers are like high-design pizza cutters, in a good way.
$123.00, Finnish Design Shop
Originally Appeared on Epicurious