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How do you keep your lettuce fresh?

You guys hooked me up with the best way to keep ginger fresh (in the freezer), what about lettuce? I can't ever eat a whole head before it goes bad. Any tips?

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  1. If you are asking about plain old iceberg lettuce. I remove the core nad any loose limp outer leaves. Rinse in cold water and leave to drain in a colander about an hour. Then I wrap it loosely in dry paper towels and in an unsealed plastic bag and refrigerate in the crisper drawer. It keeps well for over a week.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      I very rarely eat iceberg lettuce as it just tastes like water. My advice would be to buy only as much as you need for a few days and use it or lose it.


      1. re: Candy

        I do the same thing with ice berg lettuce. For loose leaf lettuce, after spinning the excess water off, I roll the leaves up in paper towels and also put that into an unsealed plastic bag.

      2. For heads of lettuces, i wrap the head in a paper towel and put it in a plastic bag. The lettuce is completely wrapped. Everytime I have salad, I change out the paper towel. I store the plastic bag into the crisper drawer. I also use this method to store other green leafy vegetables as well as broccoli, carrots, radishes, etc.

        If the lettuce comes in a bag or box, I try and wrap the leaves into a paper towel and change it out everytime I make a salad.

        I find that I can have fresh lettuce for well over a week, almost two weeks.

        1. I wash the leaves, spin them in a salad spinner, dry
          them a little more with paper towel, then I line a
          pyrex (glass) bowl with dry paper towel, put the lettuce
          in there, cover with paper towel and the glass lid of
          the bowl. I store it anywhere in the frig.

          1. i wash and spin them in the salad spinner, then pour out the excess water.i put the lid of the spinner back on and stick the whole thing in the fridge. keeps for about a week (but lettuce never goes uneaten for that long over here).

            1. i wash them, dry, then wrap them in paper towels and roll them loosely, put in a plastic bag.

              i read it in the field guide to produce book and my lettuce lasts a week or more... =)

              1. I store mine in my Oxo Salad Spinner with the second flat solid lid for storage. I don't buy iceberg, but red leaf will stay for almost two weeks in that thing.

                1. Romaine lettuce seems to keep the longest without doing anything to it. I buy the plastic bag of 3 heads. For other lettuces I do the roll in paper towel then put in a plastic bag trick.

                  1. Salad that has gone limp go in iced water for an hour or so. I try to buy just enough so that it won't spoil as someone suggested.

                    1. Everyone neglects to mention a key factor in keeping produce fresh:


                      I bought two huge heads of fresh lettuce last Saturday at the Greenmarket. I know for a fact, that these lettuces were still growing in the field on Friday and had just been picked, possibly just hours before I bought them.

                      IF YOU START WITH A GOOD PRODUCT, you are that much better off.

                      Buying some commercial / supermarket lettuces, you have to factor in that by the time you buy that plastic bag of greens, which may have been shipped from South America, handled by several people (no, despite rumor, lettuce does NOT grow already washed and stored neatly in bags) and has possibly been sitting in cold storage / shipping for a few days.
                      So the lettuce you may be buying may actually already BE a few days or more old!!

                      (Yes, I did store my lettuce in paper towels in a plastic bag in the bottom drawer of the fridge) and they kept very well - I just used the last of them today.

                      1. i always have LOTS of lettuce in the house for my two pet bunnies. i buy a mix of red leaf and green leaf lettuce, wash it, spin it in the salad spinner, and then store it in a pillor case in the crisper drawer. i go through the drawerfull in about six days, so i'm not sure how much longer than that it would keep.

                        sometimes, the lettuce does wilt a little if i dry the lettuce TOO well, but then i just sprinkle some water on the pillowcase and it's fine.

                        1. Lots of people like to wash the entire head of lettuce when using all of it...for me I only wash the leaves that are needed - wash, drain, and if needed use one to two sheets of paper towel and eat...One shouldn't wash the entire head unless one wants brown lettuce [for water will cause bacteria to spread to the other leaves} if one doesn't completely dry off. So just use what you need and tear off not cut because cutting will cause browning of lettuce leaves (it's like bruising yourself) and keep the core on especially if it is a fresh head. If the core has any brown on it the rest will have some brown elsewhere too. Seal the lettuce up tightly. Keeping it inside the fridge so one can keep an eye on it when the door opens then you're more likely to eat see it and eat it more than once.

                          1. I was told that lettuce goes bad from excess moisture. So, if I buy a whole head, I wash it, cut it, drain and spin it well till fry and keep in plastic container with paper towel on top to absorb moisture. Keeps for 10 days at least
                            If I buy pre washed box, I still put paper towel on top - keeps longer that way
                            Kale and swiss chard is opposite - wrap with very wet paper towel and keep in crisp drawer. Keeps much better that way

                            1. Separate all the leaves but try to leave them mostly whole.
                              Into a WARM water bath for only about 30 seconds. This will relax the cell walls so moisture can enter. Then into a really cold water bath for a minute. This will 'close' up the cells walls trapping some moisture inside. Then thoroughly spin or pat dry. Gently roll up the leaves in paper towel. Then into a big Zip-lock bag and into the crisper.
                              Only remove what you'll use right away. This method works well and I have been able to store lettuce and other produce for up to a couple of weeks.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Puffin3

                                I got exhausted, puffin for air, just reading this, whew! you're good.

                                1. re: treb

                                  You and me both. I wish I had time to do this routine for even one day. I don't buy more than 3-4 days of lettuce at any time. Even if it stores longer, it doesn't taste the same in green smoothies.

                                  1. re: Rigmaster

                                    I learned how to do this when we only could get fresh produce once every two weeks.

                              2. I wrap it in paper towels, then wrap in tin foil. Lasts a good long time.

                                1. I salad spinner is great to clean lettuce types and then I stick them in a bag with some paper towels to absorb the any extra water.

                                  I have a tortoise, they can not eat iceberg because it is not good for them. His favorite is Romaine . For his I do not wash it I keep it in the back and break the leaves off and wash as I go. Only water shake to rinse ;)

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                    Are you sure Romaine is all that much better for your tortoise? I have a cousin with a tortoiise and she feeds it other greens that have more nutrition and calcium.

                                    1. re: John E.

                                      That is what he likes the best. He gets other lettuce types that I grow in a garden at home. but his favorite is romaine and I buy that from the store.

                                    2. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                      Ya, my blood type according to the BTD means I should only eat romaine lettuce too.

                                    3. An easy way to have leafy greens fresh for weeks is to soak it in cool water for a few hours as soon as you get home.

                                      Store in an airtight container, and drain the excess water every day. It normally takes me 2-3 days for all the water to drain off the greens.

                                      Even limp wilted greens can be brought back to snap and crunch.