The Trick To Keeping Salad Fresh

If you've ever bought a bag of mixed greens in anticipation of eating healthy salads all week only to discover that it's turned into a bag of green slime after just a few days, chances are you could use this trick to keeping salad fresh for longer. The key to keeping tender salad greens crisp and fresh instead of limp and slimy is keeping them free of excess moisture (including salad dressing), and the easiest way to do that involves the humble paper towel. 

There are two different ways to keep your salad greens fresh longer using paper towels. 

The first method comes from Lifehacker, and although they use a bath towel, it can easily be substituted for paper towels. If you're using a head of lettuce, chop it into bite-sized pieces; if you're using bagged greens, you usually don't need to chop them further. Wash the salad greens, then put them through a salad spinner to get as much water out as possible. Then spread the greens out over a few layers of paper towels and let them air dry for a bit before rolling them up in the paper towels, securing the ends of the towel roll with rubber bands, and storing it in your crisper drawer. You can change out the paper towels each day for best results. 

Another method? Prepare and salad-spin your greens like in the first method. Then put your salad in a bowl, Tupperware container, or plastic bag, and add a paper towel or two to the top (via Lifehacker). The paper towel will draw excess moisture out of the greens so nothing gets soggy. You should switch out the paper towels if they get too saturated with moisture. 

Lastly, if you want to make a big salad that you know will have leftovers, think ahead. Don't add dressing directly to your salad bowl, and keep the toppings on the side, adding both the dressing and the toppings to your servings individually. Save the leftover greens using one of the methods above, and store the mix-ins that need to be refrigerated (like dressing, chopped veggies, and cheese) in a separate container (via The Kitchn).