About Leafy Green Lettuces
Storage and Preparation
To help make your sweet and delicate, farm-fresh leafy greens last as long as possible, you'll want to keep them humid, but dry. When storing, they should be loosely packed; if they are too tightly compacted, they'll bruise; and if they're also damp, they'll get slimy far more quickly.
I recommend that you wash and dry your leafy greens, romaine, and soft butter-head type lettuces before storing them. This will help keep greens fresh, and have them at-the-ready when you want to make a salad.
When you unpack your CSA box, pull out your leafy greens first. Fill a bowl, (I use the bowl of my salad spinner), or your sink with ice -or very cold- water. Toss in the lettuce, and swish around very gently. You may need to work in batches. Allow the greens to rest a minute or two. This will allow any errant grit to fall to the bottom of the bowl, and will help re-invigorate your greens.
Spin and/or pat dry.
Loosely wrap with a paper or cloth towel and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. For small or baby-sized greens, place a cloth towel, or long row of paper towels, on the counter; scatter the greens out on it, then roll up very lightly and loosely before sealing in the bag. If I have room in the refrigerator, I use a plastic storage container instead of a bag. Place paper towels on bottom of the container, scatter the leaves inside, keeping them very loosely packed, and layer with paper towels on top.
When pulling out greens to use, quick-check the bag, and remove any individual leaves that look wilted.
If you are in a hurry when you unpack your box, simply wrap the unwashed greens in a cloth or paper towel, place in a bag and refrigerate. Begin with step 1 when you are ready.
If using greens for a salad, the drier the better. Dry greens will help the dressing to "adhere"-- remember, oil and water don't get along!
If you'll be cooking with the greens, no need to worry if the greens are slightly damp.
Liz Talley, Urban Graze
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