Using up post-prime salad greens?

As a consequence of a roommate's party, I now have a large box of spring greens (that pre-washed, pre-mixed sort) in my 'fridge, slowly getting past their prime. There's also a box of cherry tomatoes and snacking peppers. Despite my best attempt to liberally consume salad, I still have way too much left over! I've already made a frittata (and will do so again, if necessary) but how would you salvage this?

  • Posted by: paczryk
  • February 15, 2016


elhutch44 February 18, 2016
Your stir-fried peppers look great! When I do fridge clean outs and find a bunch of sad vegetables I generally make a vegetable stock and freeze it for later use in soups and sauces. Loving everyone's suggestions :))
paczryk February 17, 2016
Thanks for the interesting recipes and ideas, everyone! Unfortunately, the spring mix can't really be used as a head of lettuce, but next time I have leftover lettuce I'll definitely try one of these ideas. The mention of grain salads reminded me of the one-pot farro recipe over at smitten kitchen, so I ended up riffing off of that, throwing in my greens and a surprisingly sturdy head of cilantro I had. Definitely more than just the sum of the parts :) I ended up going with my instincts and stir fried the peppers with some 豆腐干 (tofu gan - it's a block of pressed tofu seasoned, almost like a lacquer, with five-spice) !
hardlikearmour February 16, 2016
You could riff on Paula Wolfert's Herb Jam:
HalfPint February 16, 2016
How about juicing all of it and making like a fresh V-8 (ish) juice? It does use up a lot.
sexyLAMBCHOPx February 15, 2016
You could try the Pickled Lettuce recipe on the site (Contest Winner). It's wonderful and use it for you snacking peppers. Read the comments.
ktr February 15, 2016
My husband recently used lettuce in a green smoothie instead of spinach. It wasn't as good as when made with spinach but definitely drinkable.
Jess S. February 15, 2016
It may sound strange (but is probably a good way to use the leaves up) but I think Diana Henry has a recipe for a soup using old lettuce leaves and greens. May be worth a try!
amysarah February 15, 2016
Yes, I do this all the time, in various vegetable soups. Just this week I killed a half bag of arugula by subbing it for spinach or escarole in a stracciatella soup - chicken broth with the arugula, stracciatella (egg drops made with parmigiano) and a couple handfuls of tiny soup pasta. Easy and delicious.

I agree with Kristen W. about roasting the tomatoes and peppers - so many uses and good even off season.
jakestavis February 15, 2016
depending on what the greens are, this may also be an option
702551 February 15, 2016
Not so strange: originally, lettuce was a warm dish; only later would it appear as a raw salad. Braising lettuce is a very old school preparation, has definitely fallen out of favor with the changing tastes of contemporary diners.

The old "à la nivernais" style traditionally meant a roast/braise with glazed carrots, glazed onions, and braised lettuce as garnishes.

Some of the Northern Italian regions have recipes for braised lettuce as well. Again, these are old recipes that contemporary American diners may not appreciate.

You'll probably find a handful of braised lettuce recipes online; this is not the type of dish that one would expect to find lots of recipes in 2016. There are more braised/cooked lettuce recipes in cookbooks that are 50+ years old.

Voted the Best Reply!

Kristen W. February 15, 2016
You can slow roast the tomatoes and peppers (after all, nothing terrible happens if you eat them out of season, especially if they happen to be in your fridge already!), and add them to pasta salads, grain salads, egg dishes like your frittata, put them on pizza, add them to sandwiches, eat them on ciabatta toast with some yummy cheese with leftover roast chicken (one of my favorite meals), to name a few things. I will largely leave the spring mix question to others - I'm not really a huge fan so I would have a hard time using up large amounts (I can imagine throwing a handful into sandwiches or wraps, or adding it to a grain salad to be served at room temperature, though.
Nancy February 15, 2016
For lettuce, try making petits pois a la francaise (I know, I know, it's not spring in Northern Hemisphere). Lettuce onion peas butter. Delish.
First learned of it from MFK Fisher in How to Cook a Wolf (see google for her recipe). But many simple versions out there & others gussied up with cream, bacon, etc if you want to make it richer).
Here's a basic one, true to original
702551 February 15, 2016
Compost or livestock feed.

That's how it would be handled on the farm.
702551 February 15, 2016
Same with the cherry tomatoes and snacking peppers, two items that are completely out of season in the dead of winter. Hope you didn't pay much for them.
paczryk February 17, 2016
You'll be glad to find out that I wasn't the one who spent money on them! (I just got stuck with figuring out to do with them afterwards). Operating under the constraints of a shared, urban, student kitchen, I figured I wasn't quite ready to give up on human consumption just yet :)
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