How to Keep Lettuce Fresh and Crisp

Here are a few simple ways you can have crisp, fresh lettuce on hand for delicious salads.

  1. Buy the freshest lettuce you can from a farmer's market or a grocery store you know typically has good produce.

  2. Set your produce drawer temperature and humidity controls correctly. For me, this is about the middle level. You don't want your produce drawer temperature set too low or your lettuce will "sweat" and get soggy. If you have it set to high, the lettuce will frost which is equally as tragic.

  3. If you buy iceberg lettuce, wrap it in a paper towel as soon as you get home from the store and place it back in the plastic bag before storing it in the drawer. The really absorbent kind of paper towel works best. With leafy greens, you can follow the same process. I have found though that it is better to remove leafy greens from their plastic bag and wash them before storing them. Use a salad spinner or rinse the leaves and dry them with a paper towel, then place them in a bowl. You can use the same paper towel (now damp, but will dry) to lay on top of the leaves. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid.

  4. Store your lettuce in your produce drawer with plenty of breathing room. Leaves can be bruised if you have lots of other vegetables crammed in with the lettuce.

To save time in the kitchen, wash and tear your greens and make a big salad "base" that you can pick off for a few days during the week. Since you've already made a salad base, change up the salad with different vegetables, chicken, tuna, fresh herbs, etc.

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