How to Dry and Store Lettuce

It’s important to dry your lettuce very well before you dress it. (Wet lettuce tastes soggy, and dressing won’t stick to it.) A salad spinner is a great device for getting your lettuce nice and dry, but you can also dry your lettuce using a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Clean, dry lettuce will keep for several days if stored properly and refrigerated. If you want, you can wash a lot of lettuce at once (dry it, store it, and refrigerate it), so it will always be ready when you need it.
Dry Lettuce



Dry Lettuce



Dry Lettuce











Step

1

There are a couple ways to dry lettuce. You can (A.) dry it in a salad spinner. After washing your lettuce, place the clean, wet lettuce in the mesh bowl inside the main, outer bowl of your salad spinner. (For details on washing lettuce, and to learn how to wash your lettuce in a salad spinner, see Step-By-Step: How to Wash Lettuce.)

Cover the salad spinner and spin until the lettuce is dry. Salad spinners today come with all sorts of mechanisms for getting the mesh bowl on the inside to spin. (Some salad spinners have a push buttons, others have a string, and others yet have a rotating handle.) Whatever kind of salad spinner you’re using, be sure to use enough force and to push (or pull, or turn) rapidly enough that you get the mesh bowl to really spin; that’s the only way your lettuce will dry. (As the mesh bowl spins, it wicks the water off of the lettuce, sending the water into the main bowl below and drying the lettuce.)


If, while you’re spinning, you find that there’s a lot of water gathering at the bottom of the main, outer bowl, you can lift up the mesh basket and pour out the excess water before you continue spinning.

Dry Lettuce

Dry Lettuce

Dry Lettuce



Step
2
Alternatively, you can (B.) lay a clean kitchen towel or a long row of paper towels on your kitchen counter. Gently arrange your clean, wet lettuces on the towel (or paper towels) and spread them into an even layer.





Starting from one end of the towel, gently roll up the towel, forming a bundle.





If you plan to use your lettuce within the next hour or so, you can just put the bundle directly in the refrigerator and keep it there until you’re ready to dress the lettuce. If you want to make the lettuce dry a little faster, gently roll the bundle around your kitchen counter.

Dry Lettuce

Dry Lettuce

Dry Lettuce



Step
3

For longer storage, or if you’ve dried your lettuce in a salad spinner, you should follow this method instead: line a plastic bag with paper towels...






...and gently put the lettuce inside the bag.






Seal the bag, carefully pushing out any excess air from the bag as you close it. (Note that if your lettuce bundle (from Step 2) will fit into a plastic bag, then you can just store it that way.) Refrigerate the bag. Clean, dry lettuce will stay fresh for at least several days, and often as long as a week.
Notes:
Another way to store clean lettuce: line a bowl with paper towels, add the lettuce, cover with another paper towel, seal with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. You can also refrigerate clean lettuce inside a covered salad spinner, with a little water at the bottom of the main, outer bowl.

Related Tips & Guides
How to Wash Lettuce
How to Dress a Salad
 

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