People, to eat salad, what do we need?
We need salad ready to eat. It's that simple.
Properly washing salad takes time and is boring, that's why nobody has patience to do it when they come home from work and cook dinner, or when they make a quick weekday lunch. Or prepare their lunchbox, whatever.
At least, I am like that.
However, I like eating salad, and a lot of it too.
To solve this matter, I adopted an idea I've seen in La Cucinetta - I can't remember in which post nor when - that's to do everything in one single day: go to the farmers market & washing the leafy vegetables all at once.
The remaining vegetables and fruits I wash only when I use them, but for the leafs this has been quite useful, because they last me a whole week.
Of course I'm not able to do that every week, but I would like to.
Below you can see how I prepare my greens to make sure they are clean and fresh for a couple days.
I cut out the roots and separate the leaves from one another, and place all of them in bowls large enough to fit them entirely. I cover them with cold tap water and mix in bleach (sodium hypochlorite, also named sanitary water. Make sure it is not scented nor concentrated or anything like that), or white vinegar or lime juice in the ratio of one tablespoon/ liter of water.
Actually, if using vinegar or lime I end up pouring a bit more than that, nothing too exact tough.
This substances are used to kill microbes and whatever might be bad to your health.
I let the salad soak in that water for 15 minutes, but it's ok to leave it there for up to one hour. If it stays much longer, the leaves become limp.
A good time measure is the time it takes for you to store the other things bought in the market or grocery.
Anyway, after some time, I rinse the leaves under running water, minding the earth and dirt, eventual bugs, and eventual spoiled pieces.
I rinse one leave at a time, but if you think that is over-refinement, do as you like.
As I rinse the leaves, I place then on the dish drainer, to drain excess water. It could also be a colander for smaller amounts.
When I'm done with this part, I lay a tea towel on the table, place the leaves in the center of it, fold it over them and grab the ends of the towel, lightly shaking so that the cloth will absorb the water.
In the picture below, I think there were too many leaves, but whatever...
So I put the washed/ rinsed/ dried leaves in a huge tupperware in the fridge.
And that's it. Taking away excess humidity make them last longer.
Works with any kind of leafy green.
Obs1: always change the towel when it becomes damp.
Obs2: you can use the same water, in the same bowl, to wash a second batch of leaves.
Obs3: there are people who also wash fruits like that. The kinds of fruit you eat without peeling (ignoring the drying method, of course).