Sunday, April 17, 2011

Let Us Discuss Lettuce


There are times when I think I'm brilliant and then there are the times when I think I've been shorted a few common cents cells.... like maybe a dollar's worth. If I had a nickel for every time I've learned something obvious, I'd be rich and you'd be watching me on the Food Network, Desperate Housewives, or CSI (Indiana) instead of reading me on the internet.

Please humor me if this is something you already know, but I only recently discovered how to keep lettuce from going bad before it should. I absolutely cannot stand opening a bag of salad, eating one salad and then finding the next day that the rest of the lettuce has turned brown. Out of frustration I quit buying ready-made bagged salad mixes and make my own at home. One thing I've learned about romaine lettuce (which is usually the kind I buy) is that I can buy a bag of three heads and it will last far past the expiration date if I leave it whole and in the bag it came in until the day I'm ready for a salad.

I then take out one head (which will be enough for two huge salads or four side salads,) tear off the stem end, rinse and drain in my colander.

Next I lay the individual lettuce leaves on a clean towel to dry further.

I even dab at them a bit with the towel to remove more moisture.

And then I bag the leaves WHOLE in a gallon baggie, squeezing out the excess air before sealing. When it comes time to make my salad I then tear the lettuce leaves into bite size pieces. The rest of the lettuce in the baggie will remain crisp and not turn brown for several more days.

Aren't you glad you didn't have to pay to read this post? Just wait until I teach you how to boil water. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll throw roses at your monitor.

14 comments:

☼ Bob said...

Betcha if you vacumn sealed your lettuce using a FlavorSeal machine as the final step you might be able to push it to 2 weeks???? I'll give it a try and let you know how long it keeps.

Nanan said...

That is one gorgeous salad - I hate spoilage myself. I have a friend who planted Romaine in her flower bed last year - it came up again this year - it is lovely!!!!

Pam said...

If you wrap them in a paper towel, and roll it up, before storing them in the bag and squeezing out the air, they last even longer - that way the leaves don't come in contact with the plastic.

Moogie said...

Girl.... you're like "The Pinball Wizard" except you're using lettuce.

Barbara said...

I do this too, but after rinsing always wrap the lettuce (parsley or any herbs) in a damp paper towel and then put them in a baggie.

Kat said...

I love lettuce and am still trying to figure out the best way to keep it from turning before I sue it all. I have tried this method, but still not doing something right. I bought me one of those cheap salad spinners and have been happy with that. Maybe I was not drying it enough. Thanks for the tip.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Good idea, Mags. I hate buying produce (especially in the expensive winter months) and having it go bad before we eat it all.

Last weekend I gave in and bought a very expensive Tupperware container that supposedly keeps produce fresher longer. I'm hoping it works or I won't be able to afford to buy the lettuce to put in that container! ;)

Frieda Loves Bread said...

Great post! Love romaine as it is the only lettuce you can cut with a metal knife (you have to use a plastic knife for the others). It also stores longer than the other kinds.

I cut them cross-wise into strips, wash and spin dry in my Oxo salad spinner and store them in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Hooray for salads!

cajunlicious said...

Great post! Just found your blog and am a new follower!
- Jessica @ http://cajunlicious.com

June said...

I do the paper towel thing and store it in a plastic container too although we don't have to worry about spoilage here. Our mini schnauzer Max has a lettuce fetish!

Merut said...

I would love to learn how to boil water!!!! What is the secret?

The Fajdich Times said...

I feel your pain with the lettuce! I like green, not brown lettuce. I have been using alot of spinach! When I buy romaine I wash it and wrap it and paper towels.....that seems to work for me. Love your salad....it looks great:)

A Busy Nest said...

I love romaine. Your salad is beautiful and the kind of recipes I am looking forward to more with warmer weather.

Vikki said...

When I get mine home, I cut off the end/core and wash it well. Then throw it in a lingerie bag, toss in my washing machine and run it through the spin cycle (and yes it does spray water on it as it spins). Once out the lettuce is pretty mush dry. Maybe a little dampish. I then wrap in paper toweling. It absorbs any left over water and keeps the lettuce hydrated, after all it is a living plant. Then into the zippy bag, such out the air with a straw and seal. If I get very fresh it will last over 2 weeks easily. I do the same with other lettuces, spinach, kale, green onions, etc.