Thursday, February 26, 2009

SOS (Save Our Salad)

Salad greens are a handy item to have in your bento stash. Not only do they make a salad, but you can use them to make tasty roll-ups, shred to combine with soup or noodles, or just fill dead spots in the bento. Problem is that most bag salad is not only pre-chopped, but it's expensive and covered in chemical compounds to keep it fresh. But here is a way to keep your greens fresh and tasty for weeks at a time. Buy using this technique, I can make sure I always have fresh, clean greens at hand.

Wash The Greens
Fill a sink or large pot with cold water. Separate the head into individual leaves, discarding any that are bruised or wilted.

Submerge the greens and swish them gently through the water. Gently lift them out place in a colander. Goggle at the amount of sediment left in the bottom. Eew! Drain the water (and sediment), fill up the container and repeat until the water is clear (about 2-3 times total).

After the greens have been washed, place them in the salad spinner to dry them. Alternatively, for those who don't have a salad spinner, place them in a clean, dry pillowcase. Take the pillowcase and spin it around over your head (I recommend doing this outside). It works beautifully, plus there is no need for yet another one-purpose kitchen gadget.

Pack The Greens
Take a paper towel and place a single layer of leaves on it, making sure none of the leaves touch each other. Place another paper towel, then another layer of leaves. Continue until you have placed all the leaves, ending with a paper towel layer.

Slide the stack of paper and leaves into the plastic bag and seal it part way. Gently compress so that most of the air is gone and seal the bag.

That's it! Put the bag in the refrigerator and remove the leaves as you need them. The method works wonders for keeping the greens fresh by 1) keeping them dry on the surface and 2) reducing respiration, so the leaves retain their moisture. It also works great for tender herbs, such as parsley, sage, or even green onions. Plus the plastic bags are really easy to store and remove from the vegetable bag.

I also have this as an eHow article. If you liked this, or have comments to share, please visit the article and rate it!

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