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This morning, washing and cutting lettuce for one of the side dishes of tonight's dinner, it hit me in wondering, does anyone else use this method for drying their just washed lettuce?
Being that it's a "slight pain" the prep of washing the veggies, lettuce needs to be bone dry when using a thick dressing on it like blue cheese or even honey mustard dressing - because if the lettuce has remaining water drops on it, it never fails that the dressing put on it will become "soupy" when it's served.
I use to pat it dry, each leaf, and that's very time consuming, and I really don't like doing that. I thought there HAD to be a better way to remove the water after washing the lettuce.
So, two factors came into play. I always put my cleaned cut up lettuce in a baggie in the frig until it's time to serve it on salad plates. I keep all the other salad veggie ingredients separately wrapped until I'm putting each salad together just before serving.
Well, one day, I just threw in a couple of paper towels with the cut up lettuce into that baggie, and the paper towels sucked up all that extra moisture that would have "souped out" my dressings.
Now what I do with lettuce I'm using for salad is:
I wash the lettuce, cut it up, throw it in a baggie with a paper towel or two,
and then blow some air into that baggie to fill it up, tape the end or use a twisty tie, then I shake it up! The more you shake, the drier the lettuce becomes, and it works perfectly.
Blowing up the baggie allows all the pieces of lettuce to come in contact with the paper towels to dry each cut up piece. You'll know they are all dry when the baggie itself hasn't any droplets of water remaining on it. Then just keep that in the frig until you're going to use it, removing the wet paper towels. I use them on the counter afterwards, as they're clean and only wet, to clean up the mess.
If you don't have one of those expensive salad spinners, have some fun. Spin your salad greens and lettuce dry quickly without damaging them by washing them well, then put into a clean pillowcase. Step outdoors, and swing it over your head like a windmill. Swing in big circles. It sounds stupid, but try it. You'll be surprised. Kids love doing this.
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What can I use to dry my lettuce besides a salad spinner? Salad spinners take up a lot of space and I have a very small kitchen and refrigerator.
What I have always done is wrap my wet lettuce in a clean kitchen towel, walk outdoors, and spin it around over my head or to my side. Works like a charm.
You can lay a few pieces of lettuce at a time on a paper towel then lay another on top of it and gently press them dry. It works great.
Put it in a clean cotton pillow case and twirl around.
The clean drying cloth (for dishes) works. Just take each corner up like a pouch and spin your arm while you are holding it. Do it outside.
Plain old paper towels, or even kitchen towels work very well.
I took some classes from a French chef and he always dried his lettuce by putting it in a new, clean pillowcase and putting it in the wash machine on spin cycle for a few seconds.
Mesh onion or potato bag. Take it outside and whirl it around a few times.