This is how you can make wilted lettuce crisp again
Unfortunately, this happens again and again: You get fresh lamb’s lettuce or oak leaf and don’t get around to eating it right away. The next day it hangs limp in the fridge. For the bin, however, he is too good. A few strategies will help freshen it up quickly .
This trick makes wilted lettuce fresh again:
- Wash the lettuce thoroughly, this also lowers the pollutant content. Muddy leaves cannot be saved. Cut them off generously and throw them away.
- Then fill a bowl with cold water and place the salad in it for about 10 minutes. When you take it out, it’s fresh again. The effect is even greater if you dissolve a tablespoon of sugar in water. Don’t worry, the salad won’t taste sweet afterwards.
For lamb’s lettuce , it’s better if you use warm water and soak the leaves in it for about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water at the end.
Osmosis makes lettuce crisp again
Plant cells are filled with water and surrounded by a water-permeable membrane. Lettuce and vegetables then become wilted and limp as they evaporate water from their surface. Conversely, the plant cells can absorb moisture from the outside via this membrane, causing them to become plump again.
Sugar in the water enhances the effect. It can be traced back to the biological process of osmosis: the water in the cells is much saltier than the water in the bowl. In order to compensate for this difference in concentration, the water now migrates through the cell membrane – the cells fill up, become larger and the lettuce looks fresh and crisp again. This process also works with dissolved lemon juice instead of sugar.
That’s why lettuce goes limp in dressing
Osmosis is also responsible for the fact that lettuce quickly becomes limp with dressing. The salad dressing is saltier than the water in the lettuce cells. That is why it leaks out when the leaves come into contact with it.
So if you bring the salad to the table already dressed, make sure that the lettuce leaves are as dry as possible , preferably spun. This delays the effect of osmosis. It is even better – for a buffet, for example – to serve the dressing separately from the salad.
This is how lettuce stays crisp
Even better than trying to make limp lettuce crisp again is not to let it get that far in the first place. Therefore, it is important to store it properly. The coolest place in the fridge is the crisper. That’s where you should store lettuce.
The air in the fridge is very dry, which also robs the lettuce cells of moisture. It is therefore best to wrap it in a damp cloth or kitchen paper . It will keep even longer if you put a few drops of vinegar or lemon on a cloth or paper. Don’t put apples in the crisper, because the escaping ethylene causes the leaves to wilt faster.
Alternatively, you can keep lettuce fresh in a plastic bowl with a lid . Pour a tablespoon of water into the container. Leave the lettuce in one piece, cut the stalk and place in the liquid. This way it can absorb water and stay fresh for a few days as if you had just harvested it.
This is how you freshen up salad vegetables
What makes lettuce crisp again also refreshes herbs such as chives and parsley, carrots, radishes and other plant foods that you like to chop into the salad. If they are stored for too long, their surface also loses moisture and makes them shriveled.
To freshen them up, put them in cold water in the fridge for several hours. This allows them to soak up the missing liquid again via their surface and after a while they look as crisp as they did on the first day. If radishes are stored in salted water in the refrigerator, they will last even a few days longer.