In my opinion, one of the grossest things to occur in my fridge is the way that old greens, from kale to arugula, get all slimy and soft when they go bad. I love my leafy greens (not a brag about my own health, just one of my few addictions that happens to be healthy) and I often buy them in large quantities, so I’ve tried to figure out ways to keep them perky and alive for longer. One of the best ways I’ve found is also the simplest—simply laying a paper towel across the top or bottom of the greens container extends their life by more than 50 percent.
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I used to work at an Italian restaurant that served a ton of field greens salads, and we sourced the greens locally which meant we often had to buy large quantities and store them for up to a week, rather than buying them more often in smaller amounts. When we got them, we’d wash and dry them, then store them in large, square plastic bins lined in paper towels. The chef once explained to me that it keeps them greens moist, which means they stay perky, without letting them get soggy, which is what causes them to do that slimy thing.
Now, whenever I buy a big box of spinach or arugula, I’ll open it up and toss a paper towel on top when I’m unloading my groceries. For heartier greens like chard or kale, I usually strip them off their stems, tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces and wash them so they’re ready to use. Once that’s done, I’ll place a towel in a big plastic bag, then add the greens and store them that way. If I notice the towel is very wet, I’ll replace it. That’s truly all there is to it, no fancy produce bags or weird chemicals necessary.
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