If you’ve ever been disappointed by a less-than-crisp head of lettuce, there’s a simple trick to reviving it and making the most out of your garden greens. It’s important to know how to wash and store lettuce correctly because improper storage can harbor bacteria that make people very sick.
The best way to store lettuce from garden depends on what type you have. If you have leaf lettuce, for example, you’ll want to gently rinse and pat it dry before wrapping it in a paper towel. This limits moisture and extends the life of your greens. Once your lettuce is wrapped in a paper towel, it’s best to keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. You’ll also need to monitor the paper towel for moisture so that it doesn’t become saturated with water, which can cause your lettuce to wilt and lose its crispness.
Garden to Plate: The Best Techniques for Storing Lettuce from Your Garden
For butterhead and romaine heads of lettuce, you’ll find that it keeps well for up to seven days if you wrap it in a plastic bag and place it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. This is because these types of lettuce have high water content that prevents rot, but external moisture can cause them to wilt quickly.
If you grow baby iceberg or loose-leaf lettuce, however, it’s best to leave them in the original packaging they came in. It’s easy to confuse these varieties of greens with other vegetables like tomatoes, and storing them with these produce items can lead to them spoiling sooner than they should.