You’ve shopped at the East Nashville Farmers Market and have all your leafy greens for the week. You pull out your beautiful locally grown lettuce only to discover it’s wilted and slimy! This can happen to all of your leafy greens in just hours if you do not store your greens the right way. Don’t toss them in the fridge without a plastic bag or they will wilt due to moisture loss. However, don’t seal them wet in a plastic bag without a paper towel, or they will get slimy and rot.
Here is a simple guide on how to store your greens:
1. First, always wait until you’re ready to eat them before you wash your greens. If you wash them too early it will foster rot.
2. Once you get your greens home from the market, wrap them in a paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. It’s best to store them in the crisper.
3. If you don’t go home after the market and have left your greens in the car for a few hours, they may be wilted when you get home. You can “shock” them back to freshness by dipping them in cold ice water, or you can cut the stems as you would fresh cut flowers and place them in a container of water to refresh them, then put them in the refrigerator.
4. Containers are essential for storing your greens in the refrigerator, and there are many options:
• Plastic bags – you can use an old grocery store bag, or ziplock bags
• Plastic containers- if you are short on crisper drawer place, place greens in a plastic container with a locking lid
• Green bags, the “As Seen on TV” kind work really well and can be found in grocery stores, too!
Whatever type of container you choose, make sure you have a paper towel, newspaper or kitchen towel in them to soak up excess moisture and ward off rot and slime!
And finally, for best results eat delicate lettuces within 2 days of purchasing at the farmers market. Hardier greens like romaine lettuce, kale, swiss chard, and collards can last up to a week in the fridge.
Find your favorite farmers with leafy greens at the East Nashville Farmers Market every Wednesday 3:30-7:00pm.