It’s the start of summer, which means it’s the peak time to plant your baby greens. I like a mix of tender arugula, kale, romaine, red leaf lettuces. When picked and cared for correctly, the yield from your garden will definitely outweigh the cost of organic lettuce at the grocery store. Don’t have room to plot a garden? No problem. Lettuce grows just as well in pots as it does in the ground. In fact, I keep some on my windowsill, for easy kitchen access.
Here’s a few tips to picking, washing, and storing your abundance of greens.
After you cut lettuce for the first time, it will start to grow like a weed.
Grab a pair of sharp kitchen shears, and go to town. Cut evenly across — kind of like mowing the lawn — and leave about an inch of stem still rooted in the ground for the next batch to grow.
Gather the lettuce in a colander and run it under a shower of cold water. Be mindful of the water pressure, as arugula and all tender greens are apt to bruising. Toss gently with your hands and set on a dry cotton, flour sack kitchen towel.
Lay the lettuce evenly on the towel and let air dry. Repeat the washing process as necessary.
Once a majority of the lettuce has dried, stack one-inch layers of lettuce in between paper towels.
Gently roll the lettuce and in the paper towels and lay flat in a sealable storage bag.
That’s it! Lettuce will keep for about a week until it starts to get slimy. As for arugula — use it in anything from scrambled eggs to salads. My favorite way to eat it is in a salad with strawberries or any dried fruit, like this one. Its peppery, spicy flavor pairs great with tangy feta cheese and cuts well with the sweetness from the strawberries.