In case you weren’t aware, lettuce prices have skyrocketed in the past several months and are predicted to continue climbing. Due to inflation and an insect-borne virus, lettuce costs at the start of the year were two to three times higher than they were at the same time last year.
So while salads might be good for you, they aren’t necessarily good for your bank account right now. (And heaven forbid that you like to put hard-boiled eggs in your salad since egg prices are through the roof!). But the good news is that you can preserve the life of your lettuce, even bringing crunch and color back to wilted lettuce.
Yes, you heard right: don’t toss that wilted, sad-looking lettuce just yet. Americans waste over 40% of their groceries, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are clever tricks that can help you resuscitate produce like wilted lettuce, so read on to discover what they are.
How To Revive Lettuce In Hot Water
While it is commonplace to rinse your lettuce in cold water, try using hot water to help un-wilt lettuce. All you have to do is fill a large bowl with hot (but not boiling) water. Pop the dejected-looking lettuce into the hot water and let it soak for up to half an hour. Dry, then chill the leaves.
This tip comes straight from a produce-preserving pro. Tracie McMillan, the author of “The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table,” used to work in the Walmart produce department, and she learned some interesting tricks of the trade in her time there. McMillan says that Walmart soaks its lettuce in warm water before putting it on display, a crisping trick that you can easily replicate at home whenever you have wilted lettuce you need to revive.
She’s not the only culinary expert advising this. A Bon Appétit writer tried McMillan’s trick and found it works well for other leafy greens as well.
Wrap It Up
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure. In other words, instead of worrying about de-wilting your lettuce, it’s wiser to keep it from wilting in the first place. Don’t just toss your head of lettuce or your bagged lettuce into the crisper and forget about it. Take the lettuce out of the packaging, or if you have a head of lettuce, chop off the stem (but keep the head). Now wrap the lettuce in a paper towel or a dishcloth. By doing so, you will have a moisture barrier that will keep your lettuce crisp and fresh for 7 to 10 days.
Don’t want to bother babying your lettuce? Then just pop in a lettuce-saving container like this highly-rated option from Amazon. With an adjustable air vent and water reservoir, this container will help keep the crunch in your lettuce for a week or more.