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  • Shirley Chibuoke

Cooking, Storing and Eating Lettuce

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

Lettuce is a popular leafy vegetable widely consumed for its crisp texture and mild flavor. It belongs to the daisy family and comes in various types, including iceberg, romaine, butterhead, and leaf lettuce. Lettuce is a refreshing and hydrating addition to salads, sandwiches, and wraps.

Lettuce rows in soil

Lettuce is a water-rich food and can contribute to your daily water intake, keeping you more hydrated overall. It's also packed with vitamins like vitamin K and antioxidants.

  • Eat it raw in salads, sandwiches and wraps

  • Use lettuce as the outer shell for your wraps

  • Don't be afraid to blend it into smoothies, its water content makes it a great addition.

  • Make a mason jar salads for a quick lunch

Cooking With Lettuce

Did you know you can regrow your head lettuce? Just follow the steps below:

  1. Start by cutting your lettuce about 1–2 inches from the bottom.

  2. Place the stem end in a shallow dish with about half an inch of water, or just enough to keep the stem end submerged.

  3. Place the dish on a windowsill or under grow lights. Change the water every one to two days so the edges don't get soggy.

Cleaning lettuce isn’t difficult. A little tip is that adding a couple tablespoons of salt to the water can help eliminate any possible bacteria that may be present.

Here are several ways to wash garden lettuce:

  1. Simply rinse the lettuce under running water, plucking off each outer leaf layer and gently rubbing it clean with your hands.

  2. Cut off the lettuce head and separate the leaves before swishing them in a bowl of cold water, where the dirt and sand eventually sink to the bottom.

  3. Using a salad spinner: After separating the lettuce leaves, place them (a few at a time) in the colander and fill the spinner with water. Again, the dirt should sink to the bottom. Lift out the colander to pour out the dirty water. Replace the colander and repeat as necessary until there is no longer any visible dirt.

Whichever of these methods you choose, always make certain that there is no visible dirt on the leaves prior to draining.

Storing Lettuce

The traditional way to store lettuce is wrapped in paper towels and stored in perforated plastic bags in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Here are a few unusual ways to store lettuce

  1. Lettuce in a jar: Trim the ends of the lettuce head and place it in a tall glass jar or a vase with a small amount of water at the bottom. Cover the top loosely with a plastic bag and secure it with a rubber band. This method can help keep the lettuce hydrated and maintain its crispness.

  2. Lettuce in a container with a damp cloth: Place the lettuce leaves in a shallow container lined with a damp cloth or paper towel. Gently press the cloth over the leaves, ensuring they are in contact with the moisture. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. The damp cloth helps retain moisture and keeps the lettuce fresh.

  3. Lettuce in a breathable produce bag: Instead of using a traditional plastic bag, consider using a breathable produce bag made of mesh or fabric. These bags allow for better air circulation, reducing moisture buildup and extending the freshness of the lettuce.

When storing lettuce keep it away from fruits because some fruits, such as apples, bananas, and avocados, can produce ethylene gas which ages lettuce and causes it to wilt faster.

If you're planning your garden, try adding some lettuce this year. Find seeds at or click here!

Happy Cooking!

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