Laundry Lettuce

The best salads start in the laundry room.

Temperatures outside are rising and kitchens are heating up all over America. It’s time once again for those crisp green salads to dominate our dinner plates. I always tell people that the key to getting more veggies into your diet is to be prepared, and the tip I’m going to give you today will quite possibly knock your socks off.

As much as possible, I much prefer to grow my own lettuce or purchase my greens from a local farmer’s market. And, if you are eating as many greens as you should be, you go through a lot of lettuce!

I have a trick that allows you to prepare enough lettuce for two weeks, all at one time. Not only that, but it’s going to stay fresh in the fridge for as long (or longer!) than those bagged salad mixes, and you will know exactly where it came from. This method will allow you to keep large lettuce leaves intact so that you can use them for wraps (whether you’re gluten-free, paleo, or a low-carber, this is a great faux wrap trick!)

Now, here’s how it’s done.

1. Fill the sink with cold water.
2. Remove the leaves from your heads of lettuce, discarding the cores and putting the leaves in the cold water.
3. Swish the leaves around a bit and help loosen the dirt. After a few minutes, the dirt will start to sink to the bottom.
4. While the leaves are soaking, go and find your mesh laundry bag that you use for washing bras and other delicates. Seriously. Go get that.
5. Gently place the lettuce leaves in the laundry bag.
6. Place the laundry bag in your washing machine and close the door.
7. Turn on the spin cycle and let the washer do its thang.
8. Place the perfectly dried lettuce in zipper bags with a piece of paper towel inside the bag to absorb any moisture (this prevents your lettuce from wilting).
9. Remove from the refrigerator as needed!

Who would have thought you had the World’s biggest salad spinner right there in your laundry room all this time? Spinning lettuce this way gets it much dryer than your kitchen salad spinner will, and it also allows you to spin more at once.

Now that you’ve got your salad down, how about subscribing to Dinner Answers for delicious recipes delivered right to your email inbox each week?

0 Responses

  1. I have a Foodsaver, and use the canning jar attachment. I put “quarts” of prepared salad leaves in the refrigerator, vacuum sealed. I’m not sure I’ve ever managed to not eat it all before it starts going bad that way!

  2. My first thought after reading this post was “what a mean message!” You bring up some valid points and you might be totally correct but I wonder if the tone of your message has to be so harsh. Did you consider the feelings of Leanne at all? I wonder if your same message could have been written like: “Wow. That’s an interesting idea. I wonder though if there are dangerous bacteria in our washers that could make us sick after putting the lettuce in? The simple salad spinner might still be our best option.” Same message. Less hateful.

    1. I guess it’s just what you’re used to. If someone said to my face that’s “the most appalling and downright stupid thing I have heard lately,” I would be very offended and hurt. I think because of the anonymity of the internet, people say mean/rude things they might not say face-to-face. I just think why not use a kinder, gentler way of phrasing something that still gets the point across without putting someone down.

      1. I agree completely! Bless her heart, common sense doesn’t necessarily equate to manners and decorum.

  3. I used to do this all the time when I had a top load washer. It works great! I suppose if you are worried about bacteria in the tub, you could run a quick rinse with vinegar in the tub before you spin lettuce in it. Now that I have a front load washer, I never do this as I think the falling of the bag from top to bottom would damage the lettuce. So Leanne, what type of washer do you have and what do you think about my concern? I may be wrong. Doing this in my old washer is the thing I miss about it the most!

  4. I have done this for years and never once got sick from “bacteria lurking in my washer!” 🙂

  5. No need to buy trash (a.k.a. Ziplock bags)! First, the Tupperware salad spinner is large and patented. It gets greens dryer than any other salad spinner. Really dry! Then use the patented fridge smart system to keep them fresh in the fridge weeks longer than baggies. Wash and reuse- no more buying trash! They’re on sale! 4693719082 or [email protected]

  6. Thats a great idea Leanne I would never have thought about it without having to buy anything new.

  7. I just spinned three heads of lettuce and they’re chillin’ now. Can’t wait for a crisp salad for lunch. Thanks for sharing this great idea!

  8. I think I agree with the risk of using the same washing machine that you put your dirty socks and underware in. I wouldn’t trust a rinse cycle to sanitize the machine.

    When I hear people that use poor food service sanitation habit say “it’s never made me sick” – I often ask, “have you ever had the 24 hour flu/bug?” If they say “yes,” I remind that colds or flu are never really just 24 hours. A 24 hour bug is most of the time food poisoning.

    Also, many people with GI issues, IBS, or SIBO probably got that start due to “food poisoning” from poor sanitation habits with their food or personal hygiene.

  9. PS. Recently, I’ve had some aphids on my garden kale and greens. If you add a good splash of vinegar to the rinse pan/bowl (I don’t use a sink unless I sanitize it carefully first), swish around, repeat and all the little buggers drop off. Then I use my salad spinner. I found an inexpensive $5 one to work best. (Or, if you have a lot, that same laundry bag with a handle/tie, step outside, and swing (you get some exercise instead of burning electricity!).

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