Life on the Farm: Lettuce

Posted on: July 22, 2018

Millers Bay Farm

Isn’t it interesting how we change our eating habits with the seasons?  In this kitchen, it’s already been weeks since the crockpot has seen the light of day.  Once the warmer weather arrives, the soups, stews and chilis of winter quickly give way to fresher, cooler tastes of summer.

Salad becomes exciting again!  One of the best things about this season is the fact that everything needed for a delicious, fresh salad can be found right in the garden.  (Not a green thumb, no problem…your local market gardeners have you covered. Salad greens are in abundance at a nearby farm stand or Farmers’ Markets!)  It’s time for a hiatus from commercially prepared, bagged salads. Hooray!

The thing about dealing with fresh lettuce in the summertime is that before very long at all, it looks about the way we feel…warm, wilted and weary.   But don’t despair.  There is hope!

With a few simple steps, you will be pleasantly surprised at the “fridge life” of the lettuce varieties and other greens that you pick up fresh from the farm. 

Greens can be given a quick rinse in some nice cool water, dried off (a salad spinner is easiest) and stored it in a bag or container in the crisper.  They will keep very well for several days.

Some sources suggest lining the container or bag with some paper towel, to help with absorption of any excess moisture.  Another point to note is that a hard-sided container may be better than a bag for protecting the tender greens from other ‘bullies’ in the crisper…the heavier items like celery, carrots, cucumbers or zucchini which may end up getting tossed in on top, and crushing them.

Then comes the fun part – deciding on which salad to enjoy!  Don’t get stuck on the same old recipe every time. The options are endless.  Rather than give you just one recipe this time, see the inset for a basic salad formula.  Use it as sort of a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ guide and salads will never be boring again.