Author Topic: Salads  (Read 1731 times)

Salads
« on: April 26, 2011, 11:18:20 pm »
I'm making a determined effort to eat more leafy salads. Going to the shop every day, or even every other day, is not often possible. And there is only one of me. Any suggestions as to good ways of keeping some passably fresh salad material that avoid (1) bagged prepared salad leaves and (2) waste? The latter is a bit of a problem if you want to have 3 or so different things to hand, lettuce of some sort, watercress, maybe radicchio. Whole heads just don't get eaten fast enough.

Re: Salads
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2011, 12:23:09 am »
I've been told salad spinners work well - use them to wash a mix of leaves and thenleave them in the spinner, inthe fridge. I haven't tried it because our fridge is too wee!

Maybe you can include other veg - broccoli, green beans, fennel, roast peppers etc so you only need one type of lettuce at a time?

Re: Salads
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2011, 02:32:47 am »
Cress works well, because the punnets last ages if you keep watering them, or just buy seeds and keep re-sewing punnets in cotton wool as you eat them.
Radishes seem to have a remarkably long life in the fridge and spring onions are not too bad.
I buy those little gem lettuces which keep very well and one of them is about right to make a single portion of salad.
Avocado is good for mixing in with other salad stuff and you can buy them in varying stages of ripeness keeping the ones you're about to use on a window sill and others in the fridge.
I tend to keep a fresh coriander and fresh basil plant growing in the kitchen most of the time, so I can also add a bit of them to a salad.

All you need then is some white wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground pepper and a bit of salt to make your dressing.

Rhys W

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Re: Salads
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2011, 09:38:10 am »
That's a real problem for me as well - they only sell family-sized packs which wilt and rot within 24hrs of opening. A good old iceberg works better, just slice off a bit at a time.

You can also vary the acidic component of the dressing - balsamic vinegar or lemon juice for a change.

Re: Salads
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 11:58:35 am »
Honey and mustard dressing is nice

robbo6

Re: Salads
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 12:25:36 pm »
Lettuces grown in pots, simply remove leaves as needed.

Re: Salads
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 12:36:10 pm »
We've stopped buying stuff in sealed packs, like the salad bags, they're packed in an inert gas so 'live' for ages on the shelf then go off almost instantly. Buy an iceberg or romaine lettuce in an open bag, they last about a week...

(feta cheese FTW too)

Re: Salads
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2011, 01:46:50 pm »
The little gem lettuce are usually sold 2 in a pack and keep very well.

Re: Salads
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2011, 02:03:53 pm »
What Bouthrey Bridge said, & what Feline said about basil in pots.

Line your windowsills with pots of salad. Things that can stand multiple picking are best. For the last few years, we've hardly bought any salad leaves in summer, just from the windowsills.

Parsley's not done at all well, & I've given up on it, but rocket, lettuces (assorted small ones), coriander, & mizuna have all flourished. All extremely easy to grow. Just remember to water frequently. Radishes (also dead easy) are also supposed to do well in pots, & the leaves are good as well as the radishes themselves, but ours are in the garden.

We're eating radishes, rocket & mizuna already.
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hellymedic

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Re: Salads
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2011, 02:44:16 pm »
A cucumber usually lasts a week.
Slice off an inch or two a day.

Woofage

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Re: Salads
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2011, 03:04:47 pm »
We have a Tupperware (yes, proper Tupperware) salad container that works very well. They key component is a trivet that ensures that leaves are not in direct contact with any water that may collect in the base.

Or grow your own. Tomatoes also do well on a window cill.
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Re: Salads
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2011, 03:09:44 pm »
(feta cheese FTW too)

There are very few things that cannot be improved by cheese, I think.
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Woofage

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Re: Salads
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2011, 04:06:00 pm »
(feta cheese FTW too)

There are very few things that cannot be improved by cheese, I think.

I too love cheese, but I wouldn't have it in a curry. Don't think it would work in sushi either.
Pen Pusher

Re: Salads
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2011, 04:13:16 pm »
(feta cheese FTW too)

There are very few things that cannot be improved by cheese, I think.

I too love cheese, but I wouldn't have it in a curry

Paneer.  Cheese of the [many] gods.

Re: Salads
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2011, 05:27:33 pm »
Beat me to it.

Mrs B's favourite local South Indian restaurant does a divine chilli paneer.
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redshift

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Re: Salads
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2011, 01:54:47 pm »
I go with buying whole plant, or grow-your-own.  Stripping leaves off a growing plant means it keeps and is always fresh.  I also have a lifetime's supply of chilli powder and dried chillies, but always seem to grow a plant each year, along with tomatoes, and the fruit bushes, rhubarb and strawberries in the garden just happen - especially the strawberries.  If you want stuff other than leaves for salads, you can steam broccoli, break the florets up and then chill it - great mixed with cold crispy bacon bits and dry roasted pumpkin+sunflower+sesame seeds.  I use nuts and seeds, along with dried fruit like papaya/pineapple mix which can all be surprisingly good in salads and keep well.  Mixed bean salads are good too, and a quick'n'dirty method is to used tinned ones, drained and rinsed and mixed with spices or a salsa.  If you have storage boxes, this will easily keep for a  few days in the fridge, so you don't have to use it all at once.
 
L
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Re: Salads
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2011, 11:39:18 am »
Find someone with a rickety sign outside their garden saying SALADS, TOMS, COURGETTES FOR SALE. We have Italians here that have a veg garden to die for and sell their surplus. lovely red and green lettuce, herbs, tomatoes and root veg. Don't bother trying to kep them for mo0re than a couple of days. Just eat them . I grow herbs for a living but despite having an acre of polytunnels to play with I can't compete with the stuff those Italians produce.

I'm not sure about that thing with the gas in the bags of salads from the supermarket. I've heard it but saw a programme about how those bags were grown and packaged and to be honest was quite impressed by the high standards. There was no sign of the said gas that is rumoured to be used. It's true that they don't last but I'm not sure that you would expect them too. I'd happily eat a whole bag at a sitting anyway but I guess they are a bit pricey for that

hellymedic

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Re: Salads
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2011, 11:46:03 am »
I think goods 'packed in a protective atmosphere' are packed in nitrogen (air is 80% nitrogen anyway) with NO oxygen. Bugs can't grow without oxygen, so the goods last.

Julian

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Re: Salads
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2011, 06:50:45 pm »
Don't think it would work in sushi either.

Supermarket sushi contains soft cheese.  I'm not sure whether this 'works' within the meaning of the act though.

itsbruce

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Re: Salads
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2011, 10:45:55 pm »
How are you with chilli?  I know a nice recipe for Mexican pickled vegetables; quick to make, very tasty and keeps for ages.  Unlike more traditional British pickling, the veg manages to retain more of a crudité texture.  Actually, you could leave the chilli out - I don't think it's essential to the process.
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Re: Salads
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2011, 10:57:49 pm »
I've been told salad spinners work well - use them to wash a mix of leaves and thenleave them in the spinner, inthe fridge. I haven't tried it because our fridge is too wee!

Maybe you can include other veg - broccoli, green beans, fennel, roast peppers etc so you only need one type of lettuce at a time?
We have a Tupperware (yes, proper Tupperware) salad container that works very well. They key component is a trivet that ensures that leaves are not in direct contact with any water that may collect in the base.

Or grow your own. Tomatoes also do well on a window cill.

All of those.  We buy (frequently very dirty and insect-infested) lettuces from the market, which we wash, dry and store in the fridge in boxes.  These usually last a week, if they don't get eaten first. 

Rocket is very easy to grow from seed - and well-worth doing so  as it's very expensive in the shops.  You can harvest the plants (in the same way as loose-leaf lettuce such as Salad Bowl) a few leaves at a time (see redshift's post).



Re: Salads
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2011, 11:55:58 pm »
How are you with chilli?

Comfortable  :) Mexican pickles vegetables sounds interesting.

Ta to all for the thoughts above. I've acquired a salad spinner. I might investigate growing some rocket as I'm partial to that.

Re: Salads
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2011, 10:36:53 am »
(feta cheese FTW too)

There are very few things that cannot be improved by cheese, I think.


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Re: Salads
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2011, 11:08:25 pm »
We had a basil plant growing in a pot on our kitchen windowsill that lasted almost three years of constant munching and plucking (was our then-very-little son's favourite snack!) until we went away for about three weeks. It died of thirst.  :(
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