Do you fill your fridge with salad greens and have big plans to make healthy, diverse salads for the work week ahead? Many of us do, but if your house is anything like mine, a few of those lunches didn't happen, and at the end of seven days you still have limp lettuce looking longingly at you when you open the door.
Take a page from the grocery store playbook and extend the life of your greens in a few short minutes!
I've worked in food retail for the majority of my adult life. Rest assured, no one will be making a riveting movie about my life story any time soon. Well, maybe a dry, dark indie that's stunning to look at, but you really have to be in the mood for. I digress!
I've worked for multiple retailers, all with varying standards of how food and ingredients are treated. My last and most favorite retail experience was with a big-name company that has the highest standards in the industry for how food is handled. If it wasn't superstar quality, it wasn't sold — period.
So, how do you keep greens looking top-notch at the grocery store? You give them a bath!
Give Them a Bath!
We've all been victim to the sprayers at the grocery store (that I swear only turn on when I reach for something). Sure, they might keep things looking fresh and pretty, but for many stores, this is the only water greens will see. Why? Most grocers don't have full-service kitchens behind the scenes for production reasons. This retailer did.
Each night at the close of the store, the greens were removed from the wall and placed in a large cooler. Before greens were returned to the floor, they got a five-minute soak in cool, clean water. Any lackluster leaves were given a boost and things were good as new.
Why does this work? As cut stems are exposed to air, they start to lose the valuable moisture inside their leaves. A quick dip solves that problem and could be the key to getting extra time from those sad, forgotten stems at week's end.
Once you're done, run them through a salad spinner or towel/air dry, and return to the refrigerator. Use the leftover water to take care of those house plants while you're at it!
Granted, you'll get the best results from greens that are stored properly in the first place, so make sure you check and see if the way you're keeping them measures up to our in-house storage testing!
More on storing salad greens: We Tried 3 Ways to Store Salad Greens, and Here's the Winner