A salad made with fresh garden lettuce can take a simple meal to new heights, but the delicate greens can go bad quickly without proper storage. Using the right techniques allows gardeners to extend the life of their bountiful harvests and enjoy crisp, juicy homegrown lettuce year round.
How to store fresh lettuce from the garden storing, it’s important to wash the lettuce thoroughly. This step removes any lingering dirt particles or pests that may have hitched a ride on the leafy greens. Fill the sink or a large bowl with water and immerse the leaves in the liquid to swish them around gently, then lift them out (don’t pour the water off as it will just settle all of the grit back on the lettuce). Repeat this process as many times as necessary until you have clean, dry greens. For extra-dirty lettuce, you can rinse the leaves in a salad spinner until all of the water has been removed.
Crisp and Delicious: A Guide to Keeping Your Garden-Fresh Lettuce Fresh for Longer
After washing, lay the leaves on paper towels and roll them up or fold them together to form a bundle. Then place the lettuce bundle in a plastic bag designed for produce storage and seal it tightly to create an airtight environment. Refrigerate the bag and store it in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
Lettuce should typically last for up to a week in the fridge, but check it regularly to see if any of the leaves are wilting or spoiled. During this time, it’s also good to keep lettuce away from fruits that give off ethylene gas, which can speed up the deterioration of the greens.