It’s happened to the best of us. We’ve served up a salad that we put our heart and soul into, and it’s limp. “But it was so good when I made it,” we insist. Eyebrows raise, and people politely nibble on a lettuce leaf before pushing the entire thing to the side to focus on the rest of their meal. So how do you go about serving up a fresh, crisp salad without having to make it immediately before it’s on the plate?
Storing your leafy greens
It’s tempting to open a bag of salad, roll the top and pop it back in the fridge. But we all know full well that this bag will unroll not long after we close the door. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening in there. It’s worth taking the extra time and effort when storing your salad. Otherwise, you’re going to go back to a bag of wilted, slimy leaves.
So here’s our preferred method of storage.
You will need:
- Plastic Tupperware or similar storage containers
- Kitchen rolls or paper towels
Once you’ve washed your salad, leave it to dry partially on some paper towels. Once the salad is relatively dry, line your plastic Tupperware box with more dry towels. Fill the Tupperware with salad and lie another couple of dry paper towels over the top. Then close the box. Preferably, your Tupperware will have a locker on it. This means that it will have a stronger, more airtight seal. Store in the fridge and it should stay fresh and crisp for up to a week.
Types of lettuce leaves
Certain types of salad are more likely to wilt than others. For example, pre-chopped salad in an opened bag is more likely to wither quickly than romaine hearts. If salad is a regular part of your diet, think carefully about the most long-lasting types of salad and choose them over slightly more convenient, pre-prepared foods.
You can put all sorts in a salad. If you’re making up a salad for your lunch break at work, you need to think carefully about what kind of extras will cause your meal to go soggy before you get to it. Dressings are great when applied directly before eating. But left for a few hours out of the fridge, they will create a slimy mess. If you want a juicier salad, try adding fruit such as orange segments or pomegranate seeds. These will retain their moisture to themselves until you take a bite of them.
Keep it lighthearted
A limp salad is nothing to be too embarrassed about. If all else fails and your salad falls at the last hurdle when it comes to serving up dinner, your friends and family will surely forgive you. This will give you all the more reason to get some practice in for next time. Keep the wine and conversation flowing and your night will run smoothly regardless.