Claire’s endorsement of salad spinners as a good way to keep greens fresh and get yourself eating more salad is spot on. I am a recent convert to the cult of salad spinners, and so far I am thrilled. But I resisted for a long time, and there are many people out there – people with small fridges, especially – into whose lives a salad spinner is never going to come.
And I wanted to share with those folks a salad storage solution that I discovered right before my spinner revelation. Sick of soggy, brown lettuce after two days of storage, I scoured the internet for advice, and after piecing together several different bits of advice, I think I found a method that works really well:
1. Don’t wash the greens. I don’t know why this helps, but it does. I think it has something to do with the fact that you will never get them properly dry without a spinner, and the excess moisture makes them rot.
2. If they’re wet when you get them, dry them as best you can.
3. Line a ziploc bag with a paper towel or two (or, even better and greener, a spare dish towel), and stick in the greens.
4. Now here’s the neat part: Seat the bag almost all the way, then take a deep breath and exhale into the bag before you close it the rest of the way. This replaces the oxygen in the bag with the CO2 from your lungs, which keeps greens fresher longer. Why? I don’t know. Go ask Bill Nye.
Your greens won’t last forever this way, but they’ll do much better than they will stuffed in a shopping bag. It’s science!