Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Keeping greens fresh in the fridge

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Chocolate & Zucchini has a good routine for keeping greens fresh (full article at the link):

… Every week I get one bunch of leafy herbs — flat-leaf parsley, chervil, cilantro — and one paper bag’s worth of small salad leaves, which I prefer over a head of lettuce. These days it’s a mâche fest…, but I’ll switch to arugula, baby spinach, or mesclun (mixed greens) when they’re in season again.

I start with the herbs: I remove any elastic or string tying them, and rinse them in a shallow bath of cold water in the bowl of my salad spinner [I use a Zyliss spinner instead of the Oxo, but either is fine. – LG]. I drain the herbs, rinse them again if the water was a little brown, and spin them as dry as I can. I line a plate with a paper towel, arrange the herbs on top, and leave them out for 15 minutes, or until dry.

I line the bottom of a medium plastic container with a fresh paper towel and, using kitchen scissors, snip the top of the herbs (tender stems + whole leaves) into the container, discarding the stems, or freezing them for soups and stews. I close the lid of the container, and place it in the fridge.

Then, over the next three or four days depending on the type of herb, all I have to do is open the container, take a handful of ready-to-use herbs, and add them to salads or sprinkle them on dishes. Bliss, I tell you.

While the herbs are laid out to dry on a plate (two paragraphs ago), I turn to the salad leaves. If it’s mâche I’m dealing with, I take three or four tiny bouquets at a time, cut off the roots, and place the leaves in the empty salad spinner. For other kinds of greens, I simply sort through them to make sure none of the leaves are wilted or browned.

I then rinse the greens in just enough cold water to cover, drain, repeat (mâche typically requires three baths, the others just two), spin them dry dry dry, and leave them in the uncovered salad spinner to dry for about 20 minutes, shifting them around every now and then.

I line a large container with a paper towel, and arrange the salad leaves over it — they should not be packed too tight. I top them with another paper towel, close the container, and put it away in the refrigerator, ready to be used in a pinch over the next three or four days.

The power of paper towels is that they absorb the moisture, preventing the greens from turning limp and moldy. And the power of prepping the entire bunch in one go is, of course, that you don’t have to do it again every single time, thus saving some of your energy, and a bit of the planet’s water resources.

And while we’re on the subject of environment, I should note that once all the herbs or salad leaves have been eaten, the paper towels can be left out to dry — they’ll be just a little damp — and reused for whatever purpose paper towels usually serve in your kitchen.

And this is my technique. What’s yours?

Written by Leisureguy

9 April 2008 at 10:57 am

Posted in Daily life, Food

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