Sometimes (okay, all the time), I forget to clean and prep my salad greens right away. If you've done this before, then you know what comes next: Wilty, limp greens. Or, worse, slimy greens. Ick.
Here's my tip to help you avoid wilty, slimy greens:
Store fresh greens in water.
It sounds simple (and it is), but it can make a huge difference. Storing your greens this way will help them last longer, which will give you more time to use them, help you reduce food waste, and it will keep your greens tasting fresh and delicious (if you're trying to eat more greens, that's so important!).
For greens that come in bunches (kale, chard), trim about an inch from the ends. Fill a wide-mouthed cup or glass with 1-2 inches of cold water, and place the bunch of greens into the glass (very similar to a bouquet of flowers). Store in the refrigerator, or - if it's room temperature - on your counter top. Refresh the water once a day, and use within 2-3 days. (Note: This also works for celery and romaine lettuce, just don't trim the bottom - you want the heart to stay intact.)
For greens with short stems (baby kale, arugula, hearty spinach) storing them in water can also work, although I tend to store short-stemmed greens in my salad spinner. As soon as I get home, I rinse them, then spin off the excess water. I put a paper towel over the top of the greens, cover them, and store them in the refrigerator. The paper towel helps soak up excess moisture, and will help your greens last longer.
If they have gone wilty, you can try soaking them in cold water (the results aren't as consistent as they are with the bunched greens). To try it, place your greens in a large bowl or glass tupperware, then cover with cold water. Store in the refrigerator. They should plump up within 2-3 hours. If they haven't, then they might be past the point of no return. (sad face) But that's what composting is for!
Do you have a kitchen tip to share? I'd love to hear it!
P.S. I took this photo while shooting my Simple Spring Salad recipe.