Like most of the country my New Year’s resolutions always seem to focus on eating healthier. And to me that means passing up a cheeseburger for more salads. But does anyone else feel like they buy lettuce, use it for a couple days and then it turns kind of soggy to the point where it is REALLY easy to justify eating chocolate chip cookies instead of salad? I think that happens to me at least once a week.
Or at least it did. No more! Now I have figured out the secret to keeping lettuce fresh.
Here are my ways to Keeping Lettuce Fresh and Crisp.
1. Buy the freshest lettuce out there. Don’t grab the first one that you see. Check the date first–even if you are going to eat it that day! Fresh is best! Make sure there are not any brown leaves or that there isn’t any water sitting in the packaging. Wet lettuce = damp lettuce!
2. Store it properly. Take a couple minutes after you get home from the store to prolong the life of your lettuce. First, take it out of its original packaging. Wipe off any water sticking to the leaves. If it is a tight head of lettuce gently try to dry the individual leaves as well as you can. Moisture creates soggy lettuce. Wrap it in a dishtowel or paper towels before putting it back into a plastic bag. Maybe by doing that extra step you also won’t forget about it all the way down in your crisper drawer!
3. Wash your lettuce in cold water. When you are ready to use your lettuce submerge your leafy greens into cold water. Let them sit in the cold water for at least 15 minutes. The cold water rehydrates the leaves—they are a plant after all!—and crisps them up.
4. Dry them properly. When the time is up remove your lettuce. Give it a final rinse if the water was dirty. To dry the lettuce I am impatient and put it in a salad spinner. If you don’t have one, never fear. Just lay the leaves out on towel or paper towels and gently pat them to absorb the water.
At this point the lettuce is the freshest and crispest you can get so get ready to eat!
If you have any extra lettuce once it is mostly dry wrap the extra leaves in a towel or paper towel and store in a plastic bag. This will prolong the life of your lettuce and help you reach your New Year’s goal!