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Storing Greens

My First CSA Share of the Season. See all the Greens

At this time of the year, I get overrun with greens, both cooking and lettuces.  Between the greens that come from my CSA to the greens that come on the top of my turnips and my radishes which are way too yummy to just get rid of, I end up with more greens than I can eat in a week.

I’m very lucky in that my CSA works on a flexible shares program. I buy a certain amount of shares (in my case 15) and I can use them whenever I want during the growing season (which went into January this past year). So far this year, I’ve only used one share and I still have greens that are fresh in my refrigerator, ready to eat.

When you buy vegetables like radishes or turnips, make sure you save the greens. Sautéed, they make great additions to omelets. It also gives you two vegetables for the price of one.

Greens tend to go bad very quickly when improperly stored. This causes us to not use as many greens as we might (I can’t imagine throwing away radish or turnip tops anymore). Its wasteful and while they do some good on a compost heap, they do a lot more good in your body.

When taken care of properly, greens can last for weeks.  To prepare your greens for storage, do the following:

  • If the greens are on long stems, strip the leaves off.
  • Remove any greens that are brown or yellowing.
  • Thoroughly wash the greens.
  • If you have a Salad Spinner, use that to thoroughly dry the greens, if not spread them on paper towels and allow them to dry completely.
  • Place a paper towel at the bottom of a container and then place the greens in the container.
  • Refrigerate.











Both of these containers of greens were stored by this process and are 3 weeks old at the time of this photo. Still fresh and good to eat.

Placing the paper towel at the bottom of the container, allows it to absorb any water that is still part of the greens.  I actually learned this trick from my aunt many years ago who would store iceberg lettuce wrapped in paper towels.

Do you have any cool storage tricks for your fresh vegetables?  Let me know in the comments.

One Response to “Storing Greens”

  1. Keith Campbell says:

    I have had really excellent results with those green-bag thingies. They don’t work for everything (they actually make bananas rot faster), but the stuff they work on, works pretty well. I have had carrots last over two months stored in green bags, and still look relatively fresh and be crisp once they’re scrubbed or peeled. (There is some surface oxidation eventually, of course.)

    For herbs, I wash and dry them, and then wrap them in damp paper towels (all the standard advice), and then store them in the green bags. I’ve had them keep over a month. Sage turns grey, but is still soft and smells the same as fresh. Parsley stays green for several weeks, instead of several days. Rosemary leaves go very dark at around a month, but is still perfectly good for another few weeks.

    I love them! They are worth every penny they cost, and they’re reusable. They do wear out eventually, but frankly, I usually wear them out physically before their gas-neutralizing properties give out.