If you’re anything like me, I’m certain you’re first thought is, what am I going to do with all these greens?
In this blog I’m going to outline some cleaning and storage tips, as I know one of the most immediate challenges is to keep everything fresh until you can prepare it.
Our box this week included mustard greens and lettuce. I like to wash and store lettuce the day I get my share. Prior to joining a CSA, all my lettuce and greens was of the pre-washed, bagged, ready to eat variety. If I’m going to eat salads, I want to be able to grab and go during the week, not taking time to wash and prepare lettuce for each use. I’ve been able to reap the benefits of grab and go lettuce utilizing my CSA lettuce thanks to investment in a salad spinner.
If you don’t own a salad spinner, GET ONE NOW!!!!! My salad spinner is one of my favorite tools for wrangling my CSA each week. It makes washing greens (and herbs and sliced veggies and broccoli and cauliflower and more) a snap, and lettuce stored in a spinner lasts longer and stays fresher than when I toss it in a ziploc. I’m a big fan of my OXO salad spinner, which you can find at The Cupboard for $25. It’s an investment that will pay for itself quickly. One more salad spinner pro tip: washing greens and veggies can use a lot of water; don’t just dump that down the drain, water your plants with it!
Once you’ve got your lettuce under control, you can move on to the other greens in your share. Though you may feel like you are drowning in greens right now, this is the time to think ahead to winter months, when the spinach and chard bounty of today will seem like a distant memory. I recommend setting aside a portion of all your greens for use in soups and recipes in the fall and winter months.
If you’re not going to prep or store greens right away, be sure to keep them cool and in the crisper. In addition to using a salad spinner you can try vegetable storage boxes, which will also extend the life of your lettuce and other fresh veggies. Or, you can always keep them in a bag in the fridge for few days, but know storage boxes and spinners will lengthen the life of your greens and veggies.
If you are new to working with fresh herbs, there are several ways you can store them fresh from the box. I like to trim my herbs and place them in a cup with fresh water (like a small bouquet).
You can also wrap herbs in a damp paper towel or cloth and store in the fridge (ziploc optional). Most fresh herbs will stay fresh in the fridge for about a week.
Be sure to come back Thursday, when I’ll be talking all things chard. I had never tried chard prior to my first CSA, but have learned to love and even crave it.
Have storage questions? Want to know how to use a specific veggie you’ve received? Lost on what something is? Want to share a great recipe? Please leave a comment! We’d love to hear from you!