I know people who don’t buy lettuce at all because it goes bad so fast.
And I was like that too. I would buy some lettuce for a specific meal; maybe a salad, maybe just to put on sandwiches. I’d use half the bag and leave the rest in the fridge. A few days later the bag would be full of slimy, gross green stuff.
Last year I did a lot of research and found a great way to store lettuce.
Seriously, this was a game changer for me. I don’t eat lettuce more often, but I’ve found a way to store it so that it stays fresh much, much longer. I can buy lettuce for a recipe and know that it will still be good in one, two, as much as three weeks later.
I really believe there is no one thing that works for everyone.
For example, my aunt who visits the grocery store every day to buy that night’s dinner ingredients has different needs than my friend with kids who does a bulk shopping trip twice a month.
I want to show you some options and help you find the solution that fits your life best.
I found two unique ways of storing lettuce, rolled and in a container.
This is the method I use and it works very well for me.
Basically, you spread your lettuce out on a paper towels in a single layer, and roll them up. Store the roll in a plastic bag to keep it humid. A produce bag from the grocery store is great for this, or you can use a ziploc and leave it unsealed. You can also try this with a cloth dish or bath towel.
If you wash your lettuce at home, use a salad spinner or blot the lettuce dry with a towel. Wet leaves are more prone to rot. Don't worry about getting them completely dry, the paper towels will absorb any moisture left on the lettuce. The lettuce stays dry and the dewy paper towels get cold in the fridge, creating a chilled and slightly humid environment which keeps the lettuce crisp.
I think a hidden advantage to this method is that I see each piece of lettuce as I lay it out so I'm able to remove any pieces that have begun to rot. I also remove any leaves that have been damaged and severely bruised, because they tend to rot quickly.
I've heard great things about this method.
I haven't personally used it before so I'm excited to see how it goes. Basically, you line a container with paper towels or a dish cloth, add your lettuce, then put the lid on it. Just like the rolled method, the paper towels will absorb extra water and keep the container chilled and slightly humid. The paper towel will also prevent any condensation under the lid from falling on the lettuce.
This method is quicker than rolling it up; you just grab handfuls of lettuce and stick it in the bin. I didn't take as much care to pick out funky pieces so there's a chance you could have a batch go bad more quickly. Although, even my biggest tupperware was a fairly small serving, I'd say just under enough for two people, so you'll never have the whole batch go bad due to a few rotten apples, so to speak.
Will this work for you?
There is no definitive right and wrong way to store lettuce. Try each method and see how it goes for you. You might find that rolling the lettuce is a fun way for your younger kids to help you in the kitchen. Maybe the easy portion sizes of the container method makes it easier to put together last minute salads.
From what I've experienced, the rolling method is ideal if you need to stretch your food's mileage, so to speak. If longevity is your concern, roll it up.
If speed and convenience is what you need, try the container. I found that the containers I used were difficult to fit in my fridge. It may be worth while to invest in short and wide containers that will stack nicely.