Proper cleaning and storage is essential to having the tastiest, freshest greens to eat straight from your garden. This works for all garden greens, such as lettuce, kale and spinach. Cleaning is an easy task, but it is very important to do so.
Pick leaves as you need it so as not to waste it, keeping in mind that it will store for a little over a week. You can pick an entire plant, or just grab individual leaves off. Immediately after picking your leaves, it is time to clean it. There are two easy methods to use:
- Method 1: Rinse lettuce under running water, removing the outer leaves and using your hands to get the dirt off. This is the easiest method.
- Method 2: Remove all of the leaves from the head and place them in a bowl of water. Using your hands, stir them around so all of the dirt and sand sinks to the bottom of the bowl and then use your hands to rub the dirt off of the leaves.
It is easiest to rinse individual leaves rather than the whole head at once. Dirt and slugs can be hiding in between leaves, so it is best to pull the leaves off to clean it well. It is very important to make sure that there is no visible dirt on the lettuce leaves. After rinsing the leaves, make sure to dry them thoroughly as this will keep your lettuce fresher for longer. To dry leaves, a salad spinner can be used if you have one, but if not pat the leaves dry with paper or cloth towels.
Before storing leafy greens in your refrigerator, always make sure the leaves are dry. These may be kept for about a week and half. Wrap the leaves in a clean, dry paper towel and place tin a sealable plastic bag, taking care to push out the air before sealing. This will ensure that any moisture is caught by the paper towel, keeping the leaves crisper and fresher for longer.