Here are some tips to help you make fantastic salads.
- When choosing your lettuce, make sure it’s the freshest that you can get. There should be no blemishes, bruising, or yellow on the leaves.
- To get a head start on making the salad, clean the greens, wrap them in a clean, dry kitchen towel, and place the towel in a plastic bag. Leave the bag open and refrigerate. The leaves keep for up to one week.
- Drying salad greens can be a chore, but a salad spinner can make quick work of the job. A salad spinner is a piece of equipment that is really quite handy. If the spinner makes preparing salad more attractive to you, why not invest in this moderately priced kitchen tool? Or better yet, put it on your holiday wish list
- Tearing greens is preferable to cutting them. It’s easy and gentler on the greens, and it looks better too. If you use a metal knife when cutting your salad, your greens will ‘rust” sooner than if you use a plastic knife or just tear them with your fingers.
- Need an easy way to “core” a head of lettuce?—-Just grab the head of lettuce firmly on either side and smack it on the countertop. Then turn it over and pull the now-separated core from the head of lettuce. You may need to wiggle it a bit, but it should give pretty easily. Takes about 3 seconds, no more trying to cut out the core of the lettuce.
Tips on Washing Fruits and Vegetables
Is it necessary to wash the vegetables??
Bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, and E.coli may all be lurking on your produce whether they are organically grown or conventionally grown. These bacteria all cause food-borne illness, and need to be washed away.
- Start by keeping your kitchen countertops, refrigerator, cookware and cutlery clean.
- Always wash your hands before preparing meals and handling fruits and vegetables.
- Wait until just before you eat to prepare your fruits and vegetables to wash them. They have natural coatings that keep moisture inside, and washing them will make them spoil sooner.
- Wash all pre-packaged produce. Sometimes we think just because it is package that it is clean, that is not the case usually.
- Clean the whole thing – even the parts you don’t eat. Bacteria can live on the rinds or skins of foods like bananas, potatoes or rutabagas. Though you may peel them away and toss the coverings in the trash, the bacteria can be transferred from the rind to the knife; then on to the part you are cutting.
- Gently rub vegetables and fruit under running water. Don’t use any detergents or soaps. These chemicals will leave a residue of their own on your produce.
- Leafy lettuce and greens are best when submerged in a bowl of cold water to ensure all grit is removed off the leaves.
- You can buy commercial sprays to wash your fruit and vegetables but it isn’t really any better than cleaning thoroughly with plain water. It is better to save your money, than waste it.
- For lettuce and cabbage heads, tear off the outer leaves and rinse the rest of the vegetable.
- Rinse berries and other small fruits thoroughly. Allow them to drain in a colander.
- Remember, when preparing your meals and using a cutting board, NEVER use the same tools to cut meat or poultry with when preparing your vegetables and fruit. You have to properly wash and rinse off all residues, because hidden bacteria can stay present. It is safest to use a different cutting board for meat and one for vegetables.