What to look for when buying salad
At the supermarket, check that the quality of the salad is good and that the best before date is as long as possible. Remember that best before dates are just an indicator of quality not a definitive rule. If you only eat a small amount of salad, make sure you buy a smaller quantity.
How to store salad leaves
Store all varieties of salad leaves in the fridge in their original packaging, or alternatively inside a loosely tied plastic bag.
Once open, add a piece of kitchen roll to bagged salad before sealing it with a bag clip or put the leaves in a tub, with a well-fitting lid, lined with kitchen paper. This removes any excess moisture and keeps salad leaves fresher for longer.
Salad leaves have high water content so they don’t freeze well. However, there are some great ways you can use them up:
- A simple salad- Salad leaves make a great side dish. You can also use them to make a delicious main course by adding things like fish, meat, cheese, other leftover veggies, fruits, grains, rice, seeds and dressings (or whatever else you may have).
- Salad stir fry- This is a great way to add some flavour to your leaves. Heat a large frying pan or wok until smoking hot, add oil, garlic and spring onions and, if you like heat, add some chillies too. Stir before adding the leaves. Stir fry the leaves for no more than a minute, making sure you stir or toss every 10 seconds or so. Then add your stir fry sauce and cook for a further 1 minute. Salt to taste before serving.
- Lettuce wraps- I like to make lettuce wraps if I have any leftover leaves, they make a great alternative to tortilla wraps. They make a lovely meal on a warm day or are great if you are after something light and healthy. There are some great recipes to get you started on BBC Good Food: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/lettuce-wrap-recipes
- Salad soup- This might sound a bit strange, but trust me it works! This recipe is a great one to try https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/lettuce_soup_89522
Once you have made the soup, you can freeze it in portions too for when you need a quick lunch or easy tea.
- Pesto- You can make a delicious pesto using your salad leaves. Any combination of leaves will work, but rocket-based salad mixes are particularly good for making pesto. Check out this recipe here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/salad_leaf_pesto_12936
This pesto can be frozen for up to one month or kept in the fridge for up to three days.
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