Washing Vegetables the Proper Way

Proper way to wash vegetables

Always wash the greens carefully, but never under running water as the force of the water will damage the leaves. Instead, place the leaves in a bowl filled with cold water and very gently move them around in the bowl. Let it soak for a few minutes, then gently lift out the greens, leaving the dirt and grit behind, and transfer them to another bowl. Change the water in the first bowl and keep washing the greens until there's no sand or grit left in the bottom of the bowl. Usually two washings is enough but very sandy or gritty greens may require three.

As for lettuce, there are a number of tricks and gadgets to dry them. Very delicate greens are best gently patted dry between two cloth towels, but for all other greens, a lettuce spinner will do the trick in much less time. Put the greens in the spinner and spin gently, When the lettuce stops spinning, remove the lid, give the leaves a gentle toss to redistribute them, and spin again. Make sure the lettuce is very dry as any moisture clinging to the leaves will dilute the dressing and make the salad taste watery.

If you want to get organized early in the day, rinse and dry the lettuces and store them in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp towel. If storing for a longer period, wrap the greens in the damp towel and enclose that in a plastic bag.

Dress the greens at the last minute as the lettuce will wilt quickly once it comes in contact with acidic ingredients such as vinegar or lemon.

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