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  1. #1
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    HELP Help! Bugs on fresh lettuce!

    We've been getting lettuce in our CSA box, and it usually comes with a family of tiny bugs. Surprisingly, this doesn't weird me out as long as I can get rid of them before consuming. I've been washing the lettuce right away in salt water (per the suggestion of a friend), and the bugs seem to drown and it's all good. However, the lettuce leaves don't stay firm when I do this.

    Any advice? Should I just store the lettuce along with the bugs until we're ready to eat it? Or is there another way of removing the bugs that will keep the lettuce crisp?
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    Default Re: Help! Bugs on fresh lettuce!

    I've always just used plain cold water to wash lettuce with, and that's washed away the bugs pretty well. It tends to be just a few strays during the winter, but during the summer I generally need to rinse the lettuce a few times (at least twice) to get rid of all the hitchhikers.

    Salt in the water is going to draw moisture out of the lettuce, the same as if you salt eggplant before cooking it. In general, you can recrisp lettuce by dunking it in an ice-water bath before using, but I don't know if that'll help much if after the salt-water wash...

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help! Bugs on fresh lettuce!

    I have not had this problem, but I agree with jtjohns, those sound like good suggestions. I would also think ice cold water would kill or shock the bugs too.
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    Default Re: Help! Bugs on fresh lettuce!

    Thanks for the suggestions, ladies!

    My solution has been very simple. I stopped using salt water, and only used fresh cold water. I let the heads soak in a bowl of cold water for a bit, and that got rid of most of the bugs. Then, I tear each leaf off, give another rinse in fresh water and inspect that all bugs are gone and lay on a fresh towel to dry. After drying, I bag all leaves in a ziploc and they stay nice and fresh in the fridge for several days. That's it! More time consuming than buying bagged salad at the store, but so worth it for yummy crisp salad!
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    Default Re: Help! Bugs on fresh lettuce!

    Quote Originally Posted by jujubee View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions, ladies!

    My solution has been very simple. I stopped using salt water, and only used fresh cold water. I let the heads soak in a bowl of cold water for a bit, and that got rid of most of the bugs. Then, I tear each leaf off, give another rinse in fresh water and inspect that all bugs are gone and lay on a fresh towel to dry. After drying, I bag all leaves in a ziploc and they stay nice and fresh in the fridge for several days. That's it! More time consuming than buying bagged salad at the store, but so worth it for yummy crisp salad!
    By any chance do you have a salad spinner? When I buy fresh heads of lettuce I give them a really good soak and then they go for a spin in the salad spinner to get the excess water off. I dump the water from the spinner and then put the whole thing into the fridge. The salad spinner works as a crisper and keeps the lettuce nice and fresh, and you don't have to stomp your feet when you realize you're out of the big baggies.


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    Default Re: Help! Bugs on fresh lettuce!

    Kristen, I have a really nice salad spinner, but it's a pain in the butt to use. It's too big to fit in my sink, my dishwasher or my fridge. However it fits perfectly in the cabinet, so that's where it stays. ;P
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  7. #7

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    Default Re: Help! Bugs on fresh lettuce!

    This was very helpful. My boyfriend gets freaked out by the bugs and ends up throwing away the entire head of lettuce. I'll have to show him this one!

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