How to Use Lettuce and Other Greens

Green lettuce

How to Store

To protect and maintain freshness, place greens in a plastic container lined with paper towels. Store this container in the produce drawer of the refrigerator.

Tender lettuce greens do not freeze well. Instead, freeze hardier greens like kale and collard greens. Spinach also freezes well for use in cooked recipes, like quiche and casseroles. Clean, blanch (scald in boiling water) for two to three minutes, drain, cool, package, and freeze.

How to Clean

Do not clean fresh greens before storing. When ready to eat, immerse or swish leaves in a clean bowl of water to help loosen any soil. Clean with cool, running water, making sure to rinse all leaves. Remove excess moisture with a salad spinner or by blotting dry.

Five Tips for How to Use

  • As a filling – Add lettuce leaves to sandwiches, wraps, burgers, tacos, and burritos. After baking a pizza, try adding a kick by topping it with spicy greens, like arugula.
  • Grilled – Hearty lettuce like romaine grills well. Leave it whole or cut it in halves or quarters lengthwise, depending on the size. Leave the root end intact so it does not fall apart, drizzle with olive oil, vinegar or lemon, salt, and pepper.
  • Herby salad – Add fresh herbs, like basil, to your salads.
  • Lettuce wraps – Use lettuce instead of bread or tortillas.
  • Mixed greens – Try mixing together a variety of greens for a more flavorful and exciting salad.

Cobb Salad

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chopped lettuce (iceberg, romaine, or a mix)
  • 2-4 slices bacon, cooked and diced
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, diced or sliced
  • ½ cup shredded or crumbled cheese
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, diced
  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 avocado, diced (optional)
  • ¼ cup croutons
  • 2-4 tablespoons of your favorite salad dressing
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Place lettuce in a large bowl. Add in all other ingredients except dressing and toss.
  2. Drizzle over the dressing and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Serve immediately.

Tips:

  • You may need to cut smaller or larger wedges depending on the size of the head of iceberg lettuce.
  • For a nice presentation, place lettuce in a large bowl and then arrange the other ingredients in sections over the lettuce, without tossing. Then, drizzle with dressing.
  • Add salad dressing right before serving. Salad does not store well after adding dressing.
  • Vary the ingredients and amounts to fit your taste.