Last updated on July 25th, 2022 at 09:18 pm
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Romaine lettuce is a plant that is often used in salads and cooking. Romaine lettuce grows in a tall head. It has dark leafy leaves.
This lettuce variety is fairly heat tolerant unlike other types of lettuce. If you find yourself with a bunch of extra romaine lettuce can you freeze it for later use?
Lettuce has a high-water content which means that when you freeze it, it will become slimy. Your lettuce will lose its crispness which will make it undesirable for a salad.
Romaine lettuce is a hearty lettuce so it will hold up in the freezer better than iceberg lettuce would. Iceberg lettuce is more delicate and will not hold up as well in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Bagged Romaine Lettuce?
Romaine lettuce is hearty and thicker than other types of lettuce so it will hold up better in the freezer. Can you just toss a bag of romaine lettuce from the store directly into the freezer?
You can freeze bagged romaine lettuce but you will not be able to just toss it straight into the freezer in the bag that you purchased it in.
You will first need to remove the lettuce from the bag. Carefully wash and then dry your lettuce. The romaine lettuce needs to be completely dry before you can freeze it.
Lettuce already has a high-water content and therefore will be more susceptible to damage from frost. Making sure that the lettuce is completely dry will help it to hold up better in the freezer.
Once your lettuce is completely dry you will need to get some freezer safe Ziploc bags and paper towels. Place your lettuce into the freezer safe plastic bags and toss a few paper towels into the bag as well.
Remove as much of the excess air as you possibly can and seal the bag. The paper towels will soak up any moisture in the bag and help prevent the lettuce from getting freezer burn and ruining it.
You will need to change the paper towels in the plastic storage bag every few day to help keep your lettuce safe from freezer burn.
How Do You Preserve Romaine Lettuce?
While romaine lettuce can be frozen it is not the best way to store it. All lettuce is delicate because of the high-water content that it contains and freezing the lettuce can end up giving you a slimy, mushy mess.
So, what is the best way to preserve the lettuce from your garden?
The best way to store your lettuce is to keep it in the fridge. If it is stored properly, lettuce can remain fresh in the fridge for up to ten days.
However, if you do have a lot of lettuce and will not be able to use it in that time period you could choose to freeze it for use in wraps, soups, or quiches. If you are planning to use your lettuce in a cooked dish and not as fresh crisp lettuce then it is perfectly fine to freeze it.
If you want to freeze your lettuce you will need to wash it thoroughly. Make sure that each leaf of the lettuce is completely dried. Then store it in a freezer safe bag with a few paper towels.
The paper towels will soak up the moisture and help to protect the lettuce while it is in the freezer. You will want to keep changing the paper towels as they soak up the moisture in the bag. Fresh and dry paper towels will soak up any moisture that the lettuce is releasing.
Any lettuce that you have frozen should be used in cooked recipes. Quiches are perfect for lettuce that has been frozen. The freezing process will have burst some of the cells in your lettuce causing it to lose its crispness but if you are cooking the lettuce that texture change will not make a difference.
If you want to use your lettuce for a salad or to top a sandwich then you will want that crisp texture which lettuce is known for. The best way to store lettuce to use in salads or for sandwiches is to store it in the fridge.
To store your lettuce in the fridge you will want to leave it in the head. Do not pull your lettuce leaves apart or wash it. It will last longer in the fridge if you put it in whole.
As you need the lettuce you will then pull out the amount that you need and wash it. Before you place your lettuce in the fridge you will want to remove any damaged leaves on the outside of the head of lettuce. Then wrap the lettuce in paper towels.
The paper towels will help to soak up any extra moisture and help keep the lettuce nice and crisp. If you purchase a head of iceberg lettuce that is tightly wrapped in plastic, you should keep that plastic wrap around the lettuce and simply place it in the fridge.
The plastic wrap forms a protective barrier around the lettuce.
If you have loose leaf lettuce that you need to store in the fridge you will want to remove that from the bag or box that it came in and give it a good wash to rinse away any dirt or bacteria. Line a container with paper towels, scatter your lettuce on top of the paper towels, then seal the container.
The container should not be packed so tightly that the lettuce is squished. You want some air in the container as that circulating air combined with the paper towels will help keep the lettuce crisp and fresh.
Lettuce stored in the fridge will last anywhere from seven to ten days. When you pull your lettuce out to use it and have noticed that it is beginning to wilt then you can revive it by placing it in a bowl of ice water.
Submerge your lettuce for about five minutes. This should crisp your lettuce right back up.