“Eat your vegetables!” is a common theme we are all familiar with. To this end, a home chef will often plan a yummy green salad as a quick and easy side dish. Unfortunately, purchased lettuce can quickly wilt in the fridge if not cared for properly. While there are many suggestions for how to keep lettuce fresh, is it possible to save lettuce greens after they have wilted?
- Better for you – revived lettuce greens mean more veggies in your tummy
- Better for the Earth – saved greens means less waste to the landfill (or were you already composting?)
- Saves money – preventing food from going to waste means you don’t have to buy it again
- Super easy – lettuce greens can be perked up with simple items in your kitchen
- Takes 20-30 minutes to work, so if you are surprised by wilted greens at the last minute, dinner will be delayed
Recently our family tried out CSA delivery. While we enjoyed a wide variety of local, fresh, organic veggies, it seemed that the greens we received were always wilted the next day. Maybe the CSA lettuce was not as fresh as possible when we received it. Maybe my box was left in the sun too long. Maybe I didn’t store them in my fridge properly. Regardless, it was frustrating to reach into my fridge and pull out a bunch of limp, wilted lettuce. It was especially upsetting when I had included the greens in my weekly meal planning, and then had to come up with a replacement on the fly.
Then someone suggested that wilted lettuce could be revived by placing the leaves in a bowl of ice cold water with the juice of a lemon. Say what?! It seemed a little silly to me, but the next time I had wilted CSA greens, I decided to try it out. I placed the bunch of wilted lettuce in a large bowl, covered it with ice water from the fridge, squeezed a lemon into the bowl, and left it to sit for 20-30 minutes.
Half an hour later I peeked into the bowl and found fresh, crisp lettuce, ready to be made into a salad! I couldn’t believe it, but it worked! Lettuce that has been completely wilted had perked back up and was almost as good as new. I chopped it up and used it as a base for a yummy side salad. No one noticed a difference in the lettuce vs. fresh, and the little bit of lemon flavor added a nice tang to the salad. I left some of the leftover leaves in the bowl of water and they remained crisp until dinner the next day as well. Many thanks to the commenter who suggested this great green idea!
Do you have any simple amazing but true tricks that have worked for you in the kitchen?