How To Store Iceberg Lettuce So It Stays Perfectly Crisp

halved iceberg lettuce
halved iceberg lettuce - Deepblue4you/Getty Images

Iceberg lettuce often gets a bad rap for having a lower nutritional value compared to other leafy greens. However, when it comes to texture, there's no denying iceberg lettuce is superior. If you want to add a refreshing crunch to a salad or sandwich, iceberg is the lettuce to use. Unfortunately, its leaves can easily turn limp if you fail to store it properly.

You might think the best way to maintain the crispness of iceberg lettuce is to store it in a dry, airtight container, but you actually want there to be a good amount of airflow as well as a little moisture. To achieve a perfect balance of both, instead of sealing up your iceberg lettuce, all you need to do is keep it in the bag it came in and wrap the head in paper towels. For optimal results, it also helps to remove any already wilted leaves and to store it in the crisper drawer. This will keep the lettuce fresh and crisp for up to 10 days.

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How It Works

lettuce on paper towel
lettuce on paper towel - New Africa/Shutterstock

Like any other vegetable or plant, lettuce wilts as a result of its plant cells deflating, and this occurs when they aren't hydrated enough. But too much water isn't a good thing either. When lettuce harbors more water than it needs, for example when it's freshly washed then stored while still dripping wet, it will also result in wilted leaves. In other words, lettuce loses its crispness due to either too much water or not enough of it, and that's where a paper towel comes into play.

A paper towel works by absorbing any excess moisture that may be leftover from washing the lettuce, creating a humid rather than soggy or dry storage environment. As a result, the plant cells of the lettuce remain plump and hydrated, ensuring the texture of the leaves stays as crispy as possible. Just also make sure that the bag or storage container isn't airtight, and that you dry off the leaves. You can do this with paper towel, or if you've cut up the lettuce, you could use a salad spinner.

What About Chopped Iceberg Lettuce?

shredded iceberg lettuce on board
shredded iceberg lettuce on board - ArtCookStudio/Shutterstock

Just because lettuce has been chopped up or shredded doesn't mean it can't remain crisp after being in the fridge. To prevent it from wilting, the proper way of storing it is fairly similar to a whole head. Simply place the shredded lettuce in a plastic bag along with a paper towel. You can also skip the plastic bag and just wrap it up in a kitchen towel.

It's worth noting that when iceberg lettuce has already been cut, it won't last as long in the fridge whether you employ the paper towel trick or not, but it'll generally stay crisp for roughly three days. If you want to stretch this by a couple more days, you can also add a little cold water and replace the paper towel with a new one every day.

Keep in mind that these storage methods don't have to be reserved for iceberg, so if you want your other lettuce varieties to stay crisp the paper towel trick will work just as well.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.