6 years ago535 views
How to Wash and Dry Lettuce - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. When it comes to washing, storing, and drying lettuce, when you buy your lettuce at a supermarket, remember that it has already been washed once and perhaps twice. So any residual dirt is going to be pretty minimal on a supermarket lettuce. If you are buying your lettuce at a farmer's market, you will have to do a little bit more washing. I take two approaches: with supermarket lettuce, very simple. Remember, it has been washed several times. I will take the amount of leaves I need off the head of lettuce. Remember, you are not going to be using the whole head of lettuce, let's say if you are cooking for two or three people, you will use a whole head of lettuce if you are making a huge salad. What I do is this, I just take a paper towel, and I wipe off, just like that. Most of the dirt will appear on the inside portion, not the outside portion, because the outside portion is where the water runs down when it is washed for the first time. Any residual dirt will remain here, and you just wipe it off with a paper towel. Then you can go ahead and prepare your lettuce. Now, if your lettuce is a little bit dirtier than that, you are going to have to wash it, and that means removing the leaves, placing it either in your sink or in a bowl of water, and literally washing like you are washing clothes until you get it all out. Then what do you do? Well, that is where the salad spinner comes in handy, because you want to get some of this excess water out. So I will take the lettuce, rip it up, and put it in there. Sometimes these things are perforated, so I will give it one last rinse, put it back in the bowl, top goes on, and give it a few spins. I will do that about maybe three times to get as much water as possible out. But you still have a lot of water, even though it is just damp, and you want lettuce to be dry, especially if you are making a salad. So the next thing that happens, and unfortunately, there is no way to speed this up, forget about using a hair dryer, all you will do is wilt the lettuce, you do not want to try that. Leave the lettuce on paper towels, and just leave it out for an hour, and then damp dry with other paper towels, and that will give you a pretty dry looking thing. But remember my first demonstration of wiping the lettuce with a paper towel, that really works. Now once you have got your cut and washed lettuce, presumably you are going to use it. But let's say you have cut too much and you need to store it. One of the best things to do is leave it on a wet paper towel, just roll it up like that, and keep it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. As far as the whole head of lettuce goes, the one that remains, that you have not used, that too can be put in a plastic bag and left in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. But remember,lettuce does not last forever. So plan on making a salad tomorrow. Now one of the great conveniences of modern life is pre-packaged lettuce. You might think, "oh, no way, I want the freshest." Well interestingly, some of the materials research involved with packaging the materials, believe it or not, has created a situation where lettuce can actually breathe in the plastic that they are wrapped in. I cannot get into the science, because I do not fully understand it. But believe me, that you can buy a bag of lettuce, pre-washed, completely dry, and it is going to taste just as good as if you picked it from your garden. So do not shy away from pre-packaged lettuce bags, they work great.