How to Crisp Lettuce

As many high water content vegetables age, they lose moisture. With this loss of moisture, their cell walls begin to sag giving them a limp appearance. This can happen to lettuce, carrots, celery, asparagus, fresh herbs and several other vegetables. That’s why many people wonder how to crisp lettuce. Following is specific directions to prepare your whole head of iceberg lettuce so that it is crisp enough to replace the bun on your burger, wrap around some delicious minced chicken or even just cut up into a bowl for the crispiest salad possible.

wilted lettuce

How To Turn even Wilted Lettuce into Super Crispy Lettuce

Crispy lettuce

Ingredients to Make Crisp Lettuce:

  • 1 head of Iceberg Lettuce – cored, washed and shaken dry
  • ¼ cup of Vinegar, preferably Apple Cider
  • Cold Water
  • Directions to Make Crisp Lettuce:

      First of all, when shopping for iceberg lettuce, look for a nice heavy feeling head of lettuce that is tightly packed together. You can start with a very wilted head of lettuce and end up with crispy, crunchy sheets of goodness that you might be tempted to just eat all by themselves! If packaged in cellophane, discard the wrapping.

    • Place the core on the bottom of the head and then slam it upon a counter, the core should pop right out.

    • Peel off and toss any discolored outer leaves.

    • Place the lettuce into a large bowl of COLD water and rinse, then drain. Repeat this step a few times.

    • Fill the bowl with fresh cold water and add ¼ cup of vinegar, begin to swish the lettuce in the vinegar and water solution. The vinegar will remove some of the microbials (a bacterium that causes disease), dry any slimy mucus and crisp the lettuce – all at the same time.

    • Drain and rinse the head again with plain cold water. Finally, drain the lettuce on paper towels or a clean dry towel.

    • Pat the head dry and then refrigerate it in a bowl with a lid. In about one hour, you will have crunchy, crisp, fabulous lettuce.

    This newly crisped lettuce is now ready to use in your recipe or just eat and enjoy. You can actually hear the crunch with each bite of this newly crisped lettuce, almost like potato chips!

    STORE your crispy lettuce covered (you can just put saran wrap on your bowl) in the refrigerator. How long does crispy lettuce last? If you keep your new crispy lettuce cold and sealed it will last for three to four days in the fridge.

    What You Can Do

    Replace Moisture in all your Veggies

    Lettuce isn’t the only vegetable that can wilt due to water loss. To reverse the moisture loss in other cut vegetables just fill a bowl with cold water and add some ice. Clean and slice the vegetables first, or at least cut off the ends, to allow as much surface area as possible to soak in the ice water. Then, submerge the vegetables and let them soak in the water for 15-20 minutes. Remove the vegetables and dry them on clean dish towels before use. If you are storing these vegetables in water in the fridge for a longer term, be sure to change the water daily.

    Additional Info

    For more lettuce information, check our lettuce page.

    To find out the shelf life of your favorite vegetables check our fresh vegetable menu and for fruits check our fresh fruit menu.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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