What's the best way to keep lettuce? I usually get a field greens bagged mix, and it never seems to stay fresh for more than a couple days.
They are a tender green. I have found I get the best life storeling them in a salad spinner after cleaning. Kind of bulky but I get a couple of extra days.
I haven't tried it yet, but Dorie Greenspan's new book has an interesting tip: put the greens in a plastic bag and blow it up like a balloon (yes, from your mouth), then twist-tie or knot the top. Supposedly the CO2 from your lungs keeps the greens fresh??
I've tried the salad spinner method, too, and it works ok. I hate making room in the fridge for it though.
We wrap lettuces in paper towels, put them in a bag, and put the bag in the frig. If the lettuce is on the limp side when you go to use it, put it in cold water. That really crisps the lettuce up.
I've tried the inflated plastic bag trick, and that works pretty well. What I find works for me best is to wash the greens, and dry them. Then take an old, clean pillowcase, and dump them in. It's OK, actually preferable, if a bit of water clings to them, that will help to hydrate them. Gently roll the greens from the bottom of the case to the top, and put that in your crisper. I've also heard of people using a clean bath towel, with the same rolling technique. The pillow case works better for me because it catches any strays. That has, for me, kept greens and herbs fresh for almost a week, *IF* they were in good shape to begin with. Doesn't work so good if they're already tired.
I wash the leaves, pat them dry, and keep them in a closed plastic bag. It's important to dry them.
I agree with the plastic bag technique. I wash lettuce, spin, absorb any remaining moisture with paper towels, wrap in dry paper towels, then store in a plastic bag. Should be good for a week. I am leery of the "pre-washed, ready-to-eat" claim.
Regarding the Greenspan suggestion, I don't suppose, if you're blowing CO2 and spit into the plastic bag with the greens, that you bother to wash and dry them beforehand. Is that right? Interesting idea, which of course, I'll have to test. ;o)