As I was reading a post from lightlycrunchy today (BTW, check out her recipe for Cajun Spiced Walnuts…they look yummy!), she shared a tip on keeping lettuce that is very similar to how I preserve my greens. I decided to share with you a great way to not only keep lettuce and other greens fresh, but to perk them up a bit too. So you can now buy lettuce that is close to its “use by” date and still get plenty of meals out of it!
Here’s a big tub of organic mixed greens that I purchased today. As you can see, it was marked down to $.99 (regularly $4.99). Most people pass this up as soon as they see the “use by” date is the next day. Not me! Here’s what I do:
First go through the lettuce to see if there are any pieces that looks a little sad and wilty. Remove them from the bunch of happy campers. Put the happy greens (you see, they’re happy that you chose them and they didn’t go to the compost pile!) into a colander and rinse with COLD water. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been pre-washed or not, the cold water is essential in making them crisp back up.
Take the wet greens (give them a few shakes to remove excess water) and lay them onto a tea towel. A single layer is preferred, but it doesn’t have to be totally exact. If they’re piled up too many, they will get soggy and decay quicker.
Once they’re laid out, roll up the tea towel, tucking the greens in as you go. Repeat with as many tea towels as you need.
Now that the happy greens are all nestled in cozy, slide the tea towels into a large zippy bag. Don’t seal the bag all the way. If you do, moisture will build up inside the bag and the happy greens won’t be happy at all.
Tuck the zippy inside your refrigerator and now both you AND the greens are happy because you’ve just extended the life of your greens by 5 to 7 days. I’ll be eating salad all week for $.99! Yeah, I’m happy. And I’m pretty sure I can hear the greens singing “Happy Together” from inside their little crisper drawer. 🙂