Increase your lettuce life-span

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For the longer-lasting lettuce…

  • First, wash and remove any damaged leaves, including bags of prewashed lettuce, since they can carry E. coli.
  • Dry your lettuce thoroughly. If you’ve got a salad spinner it can remove the excess water without bruising, or just gently pat the lettuce dry with a paper towel or dish towel.
  • Wrap your lettuce in a dry paper towel and place in a plastic bag or storage container. Just reuse the container it came in, as long as you wash it first.
  • Keep your lettuce at the proper temperature and moisture level by storing in the crisper drawer in your fridge.
  • Replace the paper towel anytime it feels very wet, it’s the key to keeping your lettuce from getting slimy.
  • Check your lettuce every day or two, and remove leaves that are starting to go bad. It’ll keep the rest of the lettuce from spoiling.

Keep a cool head

Leave lettuce heads intact and unwashed until you're ready to use them and store in your fridge crisper drawer with some paper towels to absorb any excess moisture, so they don't spoil prematurely. Change towels as they become soggy.

Revive lack-lustre lettuce

Restore a wilting lettuce to crispness by soaking it in ice water for a few minutes before you use it. Gently remove, dry, and use.

Lettuce life-expectancy

Generally, lettuce leaves should be used within 7 to 10 days. You probably won't have much luck storing them longer than that. Heads of lettuce have a longer fridge life and can last one to three weeks, depending on the variety and ‘Tight heads’ like iceberg lettuce keep the longest.

Don't toss out a whole head of lettuce when the outer leaves start to look past their prime. Just peel them off, the rest of the head should be fine.

Source: Erin Huffstetler,