Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Caring For Greens

One thing you quickly learn after joining a CSA is just how much washing you do. Every Monday I bring home a lovely basket brimming with Tennessee dirt-laden produce. It's messy, beautiful, and it takes a lot of rinsing.

Thus, a salad spinner is a must. The first year we belonged to a CSA we got by with an herb-sized spinner, but don't kid yourself that it'll be big enough. It's not. So now we have two sizes and the large one is used every week.

Swiss chard, kale, beet greens, lettuce, herbs - they all get the same welcome at my house.

Step 1: Trim stems, lettuce cores, or remove beets from their greens (leaving them on will leach the beets of goodness - nutrients and flavor).

Step 2: Rinse individual leaves to remove dirt and sand.

Step 3: Place greens in the spinner bowl and rinse.

Step 4: Spin, spin, spin!

Storage: I have struggled with properly storing greens and herbs and have lost many to wilting in less than a week's time. I think I've finally figured out the best way though. I thought about buying those special bags that are supposed to absorb the gases, but they wear out over time and have to be thrown away. As much as I don't want to use plastic bags, Ziplocks are definitely part of the process. The good news, though, is that you can rinse them and reuse them during the whole CSA season.

Lettuce - Store in a bowl with a little water in the bottom (treat lettuce heads like they are flowers - trim and put in water). Refrigerate.

Loose leaf greens - Store in the salad spinner, if available, or in a ziplock bag. Refrigerate.

Herbs - Make sure herbs are well dried; if not, wrap them in a paper towel. Store in small, snack-size ziplock bags. Or, if the herbs have distinct stems, like basil, trim ends and place in vase of water and leave on counter.

washing greens


  1. I store all leaves (greens, lettuce, etc.) slightly damp, loosely rolled up in a hand towel. They stay crisp for the week, or at least until consumption. :)
    -from a fellow csa member

  2. You should check and see if there is a Tupperware rep in your area. Their Fridgesmart produce containers are amazing!!