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The Best Way To Store Lettuces & Other Greens (A Controversial Method)

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If you can make room in your heart (and your fridge) for this method, your salad greens will last weeks (!) longer than they do now.

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Are you the kind of person who gets to the market on time, washes your greens on time, dries and stores them neatly, and then uses them all up in beautiful salads before their time runs out? If yes, proceed to another article. Or go to the beach, because you don't need articles.

Or are you like me, buying greens with good intentions, then getting too rushed or distracted or tired to care for them (or eat them), leaving some portion to always, always get thrown out? There’s hope for us!

More: The natural life spans of your fruits and vegetables.

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I probably spotted this tip in a comment or Hotline thread on Food52 and it probably came from AntoniaJames: Wash and spin your lettuces, then stick the whole contraption in the fridge, lid and all. You can wash your greens right in the spinner by filling the cavity with water, swishing the leaves around to shake off stubborn grit, then lifting out the basket to drain off the sooty water. Repeat if it's really sooty, until the water comes out as clean as you want it to. 

This method might sound silly and space-hogging, but is the single best way to keep delicate greens living well past their natural lives. There's enough moisture left pooled in the bottom of the spinner to keep the leaves hydrated and prevent them from withering, but not enough to sit on their surface and inspire rot. 

There are only two problems: The spinner takes up a big portion of your fridge, and your salad spinner is out of commission if you need it for something else. But you'll be happier if your fridge isn't packed to the gills anyway, and, once this method becomes habit, you can buy a backup salad spinner for $20. Also, if you are a person like me (see above), this is all worth it.

This hyperbaric chamber of sorts has kept my spinaches and arugulas and lettuces—greens that might normally wilt in as soon as a day—resilient and delicious for up to a month. Should I be confessing that I've left spinach uneaten in my fridge that long? Probably not. Are there good reasons to go through greens so slowly? No. Will you thank me every time you open that container and scoop out a handful of clean, sprightly, ready-to-eat leaves to stir into salads or soups or frittatas or stir-fries anytime you dream it so? Yes. 

Photos by Bobbi Lin

Tags: hack, trick, tip, salad, lettuce, arugula, spinach, essential tools