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Friday, January 29, 2010

Foody Friday: How to make your lettuce last and last

I sort of forgot about Foody Friday, that cute little bit of alliteration that allows me a paragraph or two to go on and on about food. I do so love eating good food.
Today I'd like to focus on one of those little tips that totally changed my salad life. I learned this tip when I was a "soda jerk" in a drug store in high school - my very first pharmacy job. We had a little cafe and soda fountain in the drug store, and business in the cafe wasn't exactly booming. Many people came in for a nectar soda, a real malt, or an ice cream cone; lunches were more rare with maybe 4-6 a day. So it was important for us to keep our leaf lettuce for sandwiches fresh for several days. Here's how we did it:

1. Open up the head of lettuce and hold it under running water and wash, wash, wash. Open all the leaves up so it gets clean at the base (ps - if you use soap or veggies wash, sprinkle it in here. I don't, because I like to live life on the edge and I'm anti-anti-bacterial. Vigorous washing usually dislodges most bugs).
2. Turn the lettuce upside down and give it a vigorous shake to get excess water out. DO NOT shake it dry: the key here is that there will still be moisture in the lettuce head.
3. Spread out about 2 1/2 feet of plastic wrap on your counter. Lay the lettuce on it, kind of at a slant so you can fold the corner of the plastic warp up to cover the base of the lettuce head.
4. Then just roll it up, pretty tightly.
5. With the last few inches of plastic wrap, fold plastic wrap over the top of the head to make a nice snug little cocoon.

Store in the warmest spot in the fridge; re-wrap every time you open and use the lettuce. If you have a bowl you can lay it in in the fridge it will decrease the dripping in the bottom of the fridge (it does drip because there's so much extra moisture in it).

If you're cooking for one or two this should keep your lettuce fresh for the duration!

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