In part two of this series, I share take steps to help me succeed in my New Year's resolution to stop wasting so much food. The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper shares how to "bag your own lettuce". I figured for the $1.50 head bought at my favorite stand at the Maitland Farmer's Market, I could afford to take the chance. The head of lettuce was very large, and I believe the photos don't really do the size of the leaves justice. In an effort to keep the leaves as whole as possible, I put them on angles in gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bags. From what I can tell, the system is a success. Exactly two weeks from the day I purchased and bagged my lettuce, I had a fabulous lunch salad with what looked and tasted like fresh lettuce. The only sign of age was the browning near the end of the leaf where I had broken it off of the stalk. We ate on the lettuce here-and-there, resealing the bag as quickly as possible after opening it. The final leaves were all used on Sunday; so, I don't know how much longer it would have lasted. But it's better than my past experiences with store-bought lettuce.
Previously, I found that even the "Buy one, Get one free" deals on bagged lettuce or a pre-bagged set of three romaine hearts would all go bad before Paul and I could eat them. In fact, if I wanted to buy lettuce, I knew I would have to eat salads all week or have company to serve a salad to at some point in the near future.
Although this system may seem inefficient, I have no problems recycling my bags for another round. Having fresh lettuce is a great accent--for flavor and for nutrients--to the rocket from our herb garden.
Steps for Bagging Lettuce
- Pull lettuce leaves apart carefully so the leaves don't tear. (The book says that tears keep the lettuce from surviving as long.)
- Wash the lettuce thoroughly.
- Spin dry. (My spinner is a Zyliss. I even use it for the herbs.)
- Put a paper towel along with the lettuce in a gallon Ziplock bag to absorb excess moisture.
- Seal the bag eliminating all the air.
I was conservative and my one head yielded four bags of lettuce.