How to Store Your Lettuce Harvest

So what to do when you pull your plant and can’t eat all the lettuce right away?

We know there’s a great range of recipes, but how about we just store some lettuce leaves to grab for salads, burgers and more for the next month?  Lettuce can last that long if you store it right.   I find the best way to preserve lettuce the longest is by washing it,  drying it, storing it in airtight Ziploc bags.     To wash and dry them I use a salad spinner (this is the one I have) and it’s changed my life, I’m not even kidding.  The great thing about the version I have is, is that it’s also a colander, so you can soak it the bowl to wash off your dirt.  Then drain.  Then spin to dry.  After that, I wrap the lettuce in 2 pieces of  paper towel to keep fresh and crisp, then put in a Ziploc bag.  Get all the air out of the bag and close.   Then you’re all set.  Your lettuce will stay fresh for a few weeks.  Also, reuse those plastic bags!

Here’s the steps.

So you pick your gorgeous lettuce – first, a high 5 is deserved!
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First, you want to wash it.  Take apart all your lettuce leaves on the head.  You can fill your sink up with water and push the leaves down, rinsing until clean.  Or if you have a salad spinner, you might have a built in bowl that you can just fill up with water and do the same thing.
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Keep rinsing with water and scrubbing the lettuce every so slightly until all the dirt is off.
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Now it’s salad spinner time.  For the version I have, you just put in the spinner, put the lid on top, press the pump a few times to make it spin around really fast.  Then push the stop button to make it come to a quick stop.  This will make sure the water pushes off the lettuce, drying it.  Do this as many times as you need to until your lettuce is dry.
Here’s a Vine I made demonstrating it.  (click to play if needed). 

Great, we got some gorgeous green lettuce leaves – all dried!
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Then I set them out on a few pieces of paper towel.  I pat them just to make sure there is no excessive moisture on the leaves.
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Then just wrap them, like you are rolling a blanket burrito. 
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Now you want to try to get all the air out of the bag so the lettuce stays crisp.  Do you know the straw trick? It’s one of the many tricks Matthew has taught me.  Zip up the straw in your plastic bag you are using but let the top part out.  Then using the straw, breathe in and suck all the air out.  Keep sucking in until you think you’ve vacuum packed it as much as possible.  Then quickly pull the straw and zip the remaining part up.
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Now your lettuce is stored and will remain fresh for weeks to come!  Pull out a piece whenever you need it.  lettuceIMG_2557

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