We grow a variety of different types of head lettuce throughout the growing season at Fort Hill Farm. Because head lettuce is so heat sensitive our options are limited to what types we can grow and when. Early on in the season you may see varieties such as Bibb or Boston Head Lettuce, delicate curly Green and Red Leaf Lettuce and hearty, crisp Romaine Lettuce. As it gets hotter we switch to varieties more commonly known as “Summer Crisp”. These varieties are more tolerant to the summer heat. We grow Nevada, a green leaf variety, and Magenta, a red leaf variety.
Storage and Handling:
Head Lettuce can be stored in loosely closed plastic bag in your refrigerator crisper for 3 to 5 days. Be careful if it is too wet, excess moisture will cause the lettuce to spoil more quickly.
For longer storage treat head lettuce as you would loose-leaf greens like Salad Mix or Arugula. Separate the individual leaves from the head and use the “farmer preferred” storage method, which requires a most valuable kitchen tool, the salad spinner.
Step One: Put your greens into the salad spinner basket, fill up the bowl with cold water and gently agitate the greens in the water. Then let the greens sit in the water for about 5 minutes, allowing any residual dirt to settle to the bottom. Then remove the basket, dump the dirty water, and spin the greens dry.
Step Two: At this point, I’ll just lightly spritz (be careful of using the full force of the sprayer, you can actually “bruise” the greens) the greens with the sink sprayer and spin them, repeating this step once or twice as necessary. If your greens are particularly gritty, you can repeat step one.
Step Three: Once your greens are spun dry, put the lid on leaving the greens clean and dry in the basket of your spinner and store them this way in the fridge for up to a week! If you need to return them to a bag for storage space reasons, the vented bag that they came in is your best option. Please note, the bag should be dry and the greens will not last more than 3 days in this bag!!!! Especially if they are wet!