Are your greens wilting in your fridge within a day or two of bringing them home? You’re not alone! Even the freshest farmers market greens can lose their crispness if not stored properly. And soggy, wilted greens are the worst! With the bounty of delicious greens at the farmers market and grocery store right now, you don’t want them to go to waste. Here’s how to keep them fresh:
1. Remove the rubber bands, twist ties, or other packaging and wash them as soon as you get home. I recommend chopping them up – especially heads of lettuce– to make sure you get all the dirt out from inner layers. (If you want some larger pieces for sandwiches or lettuce wraps, peel off a few of the outer layers before chopping). A salad spinner comes in handy here. If you don’t have one, rinse in a collander (or if the greens are from a farm and have a lot of dirt, you may need to soak them), then dry with paper towels as much as possible.
2. Store them loosely. Storing greens in the salad spinner seems to be the best way to keep them fresh. However, this can take up a lot of precious space in your fridge (unless you have a mini spinner or a massive fridge). The next best option, I’ve found, is to store them chopped and washed in a plastic freezer bag in the fridge. If you have a real “crisper” drawer, put them in there. But if you’re like me with “crisper” drawers that aren’t actually sealed off from the rest of the fridge, anywhere will do.
My fresh heads of lettuce have lasted more than twice as long as they were when I left them unwashed bound by rubber bands or as the whole head. The same goes for kale, chard, spinach, arugula, and other dark leafy greens. They should all last for at least 1 week if not 10 days (depending on freshness when you purchase).
Another option, if you end up with too many greens to use in a week’s time, is to blanch the greens and then freeze them. This works well for greens like kale, chard, and escarole.
- your food and fitness friend