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Sep 29, 2013 08:38 PM

Dressing Romaine Salad in Advance?

So normally when we take salads to work for lunch, we bring separate little tupperwares for dressing so that we can add it at the last minute. This is usually a pain because our tupperware selection means either we take a bulky jar or a small tupperware that invariably leaks. Nevertheless, we make it work when we have to. Tomorrow, however, I made a salad with romaine lettuce, green beans, and cannellini beans. I was going to do just lemon and juice and olive oil as the dressing. I'm thinking that since romaine is a sturdier lettuce and there is nothing too delicate in the salad, maybe I can get away with dressing it in the morning before we leave? It would sit in the dressing for just 4 or so hours in that case. Do you think that it will still turn out soggy, or would this be okay?

ETA: Also looking for recommendations for small, leak-proof containers in which to transport salad dressing to work :)

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  1. While romaine is a sturdier green for sure than say, a butter lettuce, I would be concerned that the acid from the lemon juice would do a number on it over 4hrs. If you like kale, it holds up to being dressed ahead of time fantastically.

    As far as dressing containers go, I've use these Rubbermaid containers.
    I've also used small baby food jars.

    1. What about dressing with olive oil and then squeezing a wedge of lemon over it just before you eat?

      1. First off, I'd just accept that dressing a green salad just before serving is part of what you have to deal with. Dressing ahead of time is a bad idea.

        One thing my mom does is seal whatever container she uses for the dressing inside a ziplock bag. That means two levels of protection against leakage, which seems to work. Much like washing your car makes it rain, sealing your dressing inside a leakproof bag keeps it from leaking in the first place.

        1. Just put the dressing in a separate container and dress about 10 min. before you want to eat it.

          1. I'm okay with slightly limp greens so I would do it. Have you thought of keeping a small bottle of olive oil and vinegar at work?

            18 Replies
              1. re: monavano

                I have VERY limited kitchen supplies here -- there isn't even a kitchen sink anywhere (I work in a hospital) so I'm limited to plasticware, otherwise I would keep more stuff to prep myself. But because of the set-up I try to prep as much as possible at home. As for leaving a bottle of olive oil and vinegar -- I tend to use different dressings for different salads (some days a homemade buttermilk ranch, other days a vinaigrette, some days I feel like garlic, some days not), so that probably won't help me that much. But definitely new, less leak-prone tupperwares will help!

                1. re: arielleeve

                  I saw Barefoot Contessa make a salad with dressing ahead of time. She put the dressing on the bottom and placed the lettuce on top, then tossed it before serving.
                  It might work in tupperware.

                  1. re: monavano

                    That's pretty cool. I never would have thought of that. Thanks, that's an awesome tip.

                    1. re: monavano

                      Yes, I was thinking that -- was too late for me since I had already divvied everything up in containers, but will definitely consider for next time. I've seen that episode!

                      1. re: monavano

                        Pinterest has ideas for doing this in mason jars.

                        Recently I brought soup to work and used press and seal wrap under the lid and it worked very well.

                        1. re: monavano

                          I will sometimes make mason jar salads and know others who do it daily and the method is always to pour the dressing on the bottom then layer the ingredients by weight and it works great. Here's a link with instructions

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            I would totally do that were it not for the fact that I have no kitchen and therefore no plates at my office. I could use disposable ones if I wanted to, but it's hard to justify that level of waste when I can easily eat straight from my lunch container.

                            1. re: arielleeve

                              What's stopping you from eating the salad (once tossed in the jar) out of the jar directly?

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  Good point, just wouldn't be as easy to eat, I guess.

                            2. re: monavano

                              yes! this idea is all over pinterest too - though i hate the site, this is one of the best things i've seen. dressing on bottom, toppings in the middle, last is veggies & lettuce. i've seen it done in mason jar; when it's time to eat, turn it upside down and shake!

                              1. re: cozylummox

                                Pinterest as a whole is rather depressing but I do enjoy how user friendly it is for me for organizing my saved recipes which I used to Google Bookmark.

                                1. re: melpy

                                  Depressing? Just curious. I also use it to save recipes in a central place.

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    i definitely agree that it's great for saving recipes. I should clarify and say that what I hate is logging in and and being bombarded with hardcore pics of "cheesy broccoli mac & cheese EASY 5 steps!!" "chewy chocolate peanutbutter white salted caramel shortbread pretzel doughnut cupcake bites!!!" "crock pot chicken buffalo ranch cheesy zucchini!!" "HEALTHY cheezy pizza bite bake crumbles!"

                                    maybe i'm being a snob, but most people have gross taste in food.

                                    1. re: cozylummox

                                      HA! have you dipped into the waters of the "weird party foods" thread? :O