Preserve lettuce is a simple, safe food preservation method that can prolong the freshness of your favorite leafy greens. The key to keeping lettuce fresh is removing excess moisture and oxygen. Start by washing and shaking the leaves gently, then drying them thoroughly. You can use a salad spinner, a clean kitchen towel, or paper towels to do this. Once the lettuce is completely dry, store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container. It is best to avoid chopping or cutting the lettuce until you are ready to use it. This will help preserve the crispiness of the leaves and reduce wilting.
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If you have extra lettuce left from a meal or harvested from your own garden, you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week. To do this, first wash the lettuce and shake it gently to remove any dirt or debris. Then, pat the lettuce dry using a paper towel or salad spinner. Place it in a plastic bag and press out the air before sealing. Place the bag in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer or on a shelf.
This simple lettuce storage hack works great for mesclun mixes, as well as tender endive and watercress. It can also be used to store kale, spinach, and arugula. Just remember to change the paper towels regularly, and make sure the lettuce is not touching any other produce that gives off ethylene gas (such as apples, avocados, or tomatoes). This will slow down the ripening process and prevent the lettuce from spoiling.