Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kitchen Tip for Keeping Lettuce Fresh

When we can grow our own lettuce and spinach, we just harvest leaves as we need it. Now that temperatures here reach into the 80's every day, we are having to look to other options for lettuce. Whether you shop at the farmer's market or grocery store, there are some things you can do to make your lettuce stay fresh in your refrigerator for a week or more.

As soon as I get home from purchasing lettuce, I pull off all unusable leaves from the outside. I keep as many outside leaves as possible, because many of the vitamins are in these darkest green leaves. But I do take out all bruised leaves as these will cause the rest of the leaves to start going bad if kept together in the refrigerator.

After separating and washing the leaves, I let them drain in a strainer while I finish putting away the rest of the groceries. Then I pull them apart and remove the ribs from romaine.

Next, the leaves go for a spin in a salad spinner. Removing as much moisture as possible is key if your salad greens are going to last in the refrigerator for more than a day or two.

Lastly, after transferring the lettuce to a reusable container, place a paper towel on top. This will help prevent condensation and keep your salad crisp for longer.

With this method of keeping lettuce, not only will the leaves last longer, but you also have the convenience of bagged lettuce without the cost. For only 5 minutes or so of time invested, I was able to put away the equivalent of 2 bagged salads, which would cost between $5 & $6, for only $1.39.

Check out the yummy Mushroom Pizza we had with our salad on Tuesday!

Tammy's Recipes has lots of kitchen tips. Go check them out.

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