My Simple Trick for Keeping Salad Greens Fresh and Crisp

updated Mar 12, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Every single night, without fail, my husband and I have a green salad on our dinner table. It’s never anything fancy — usually just some greens like arugula or Bibb lettuce tossed with a tangy vinaigrette — but it’s the simplest way to add an extra serving of vegetables to our plate. Also, I’ve found that once you develop a salad habit, whatever you’re eating almost feels lost without it. The cool, crisp crunch of a green salad is the perfect companion to just about everything and I notice when it’s missing.

All that’s to say: We buy a lot of lettuce every week. And, as you know, greens tend to wilt and get slimy pretty quickly. However, after a lot of trial and error, I’ve discovered that there’s a super-easy way to extend the life of the greens in your fridge. It doesn’t involve some fancy gadget. Or a time-consuming method. And you might even already have what’s needed.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

A Salad Spinner Is the Secret to Keeping Your Greens Fresh

While I’ve tested all sorts of methods for storing salad greens, I came across the simplest and very best way out of necessity. I always use my large salad spinner to wash lettuce, but I never had a good place to store it, so I’d just leave it sitting out day after day. Then one day, it hit me: I decided to leave the clean lettuce in the salad spinner, put the lid on, and store it — just like that! — in the fridge. Where I actually had the space for it. I wasn’t really sure what the outcome would be, but it seemed like a good idea.

The results were better than I could have imagined. Because the greens sit in the spinner’s basket, there’s about an inch of space between them and the bottom of the container. That means any excess moisture on the greens, which leads to sliminess and spoilage, drips off while they’re stored.

Now, this is the only way I store my salad greens. They stay crisp, fresh, and totally wilt-free for up to 10 days in the salad spinner and I no longer have to look at it on my counter (or deal with finding cabinet space for it).

How do you store your greens?