Introduction: How To: Keep Greens Fresh
Several easy steps that help keep your greens crisp and fresh in your fridge for up to two weeks.
Greens are delicious, nutritious, and always seem to be cheaper if you buy 3+ bunches at the farmers market. They also have a tendency to wilt and rot if they are kept too long in the fridge without the proper storage. The good thing? Proper storage is easy. Just follow these few simple steps and you'll be eating fresh greens all week long.
Step 1: Materials
- Fresh Greens*
- Salad Spinner
- Scissors or Shears
- Gallon Ziplock Bag(s)
- A Roll of Paper Towels
Step 2: Separate Leaves
Using your kitchen shears or simply your own fingers, separate each lettuce leaf from the head of lettuce. As you are doing so, remove insects and any parts of the greens that you do NOT want to keep.
If you are looking for a faster method, you can cut off the bottom of the head, the majority of the leaves will fall away. I've found however, that it doesn't take that long to pluck the leaves from the base and as a bonus, you can easily remove any insects you may find as you go along.
Step 3: Wash
Wash your leafy greens with cool water in your salad spinner. You'll want to wash your greens in something (bowl, strainer) other than just the direct sink to avoid cross contamination and germs leaping on to your greens.
Wash and rinse until you're satisfied and all of the bugs and dirt have been removed. Drain the water from your salad spinner and move on to the next step!
Step 4: Dry
This step is essential. You want to dry your leafy greens as best as you possibly can to avoid mildew and rot during storage.
Place your greens back in your salad spinner in a small batch. You want to work in batches for this step to make sure that your greens don't clump and so that they dry properly. Place the lid on your spinner and spin those greens until they are dry. You can also blot them dry with a dish towel.
Work through all of your batches, making sure all of the leaves are dry.
Step 5: Roll 'Em
Unroll a few sections of your paper towel roll on your countertop--do NOT disconnect your paper towels from the roll yet--and place your dried leafy greens on them. Make sure you leave a space that is about the width of one of your leaves at the end.
Fold the end with the space over the first leaf. Begin to roll, wrapping your lettuce leaves in the paper towel as you go. Break the paper towels off the roll when all of your lettuce is wrapped up. The paper towels will soak up any additional mositure and keep the humidity higher.
OPTIONAL METHOD 2: If you are confident in your drying technique, you can stack your dried lettuce leaves and wrap the bundle in paper towels, usually two. This method saves on paper towels and work, but is not quite as good as the first.
TIP: If you don't want to use a ton of paper towels and generate waste, substitute the paper towels with a dish towel.
Step 6: Storing
Take your bundle of wrapped greens and slide it into a gallon ziplock. Seal your ziplock leaving some air in the bag--greens are fairly delicate, especially some types of lettuce and can easily bruise. Space is also good as it keeps the leaves further apart and prevents mildew and rot. The ziplock will help by preventing the loss of water (wilting) from your greens and create a mildly humid environment.
Place your greens in the crisper drawer of your fridge. This generally the coolest place in the fridge and will keep your greens the freshest.
Your greens should last up to two weeks depending on how fresh they were to begin with! Enjoy!