FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Bag 'em to keep greens tasting fresh
By Wanda A. Adams
Advertiser Food Editor
Lettuce is a problem around our house.
My husband loves it. I loathe it.
Still, we're both trying to eat more salads, and vegetables in general.
The problem is, we can rarely manage to eat a whole head of the leafy stuff before it begins to go south. Salad spinners work well not just for cleaning leafy greens but keeping them fresh, but I don't have room for one of those. I tried some rigid plastic boxes with air vents but they, too, took up room, and they didn't work very well, either.
Then the other day a co-worker told me about a product she'd heard about from a cook aboard a sea-going barge. This person said that the Salad Sac a drawstring bag made of a special grade of cotton kept greens and certain other vegetables fresh-tasting and at the right texture for twice as long as normal. My friend brought me a sample.
I had an already-wilting whole head of red-leaf lettuce in the refrigerator and went right home to try it out. You have to wash the Salad Sac first, so I did a quick load of laundry and then took the damp bag and filled it with washed lettuce leaves. Later that evening, the greens were beautifully revived and crisp and as of this writing, two days, later, they're still doing well.
The 15-by-17-inch bags are made of lint-free cotton fibers that absorb excess water but keep greens as humid and cool as they like to be. You don't even need to use the crisper; anywhere in the refrigerator will do. I like the fact that, in a packed refrigerator, you can sort of nestle the bag in among or on top of other items.
The advertising materials that come with the Salad Sac say you can store fresh herbs in them (don't wash); mushrooms (dirt and all) and whole vegetables. They suggest you store whole tomatoes in the Salad Sac outside the refrigerator to ripen naturally. (I haven't tried it.)
Dave Smith of International Specialities, which brings the Canadian-made Salad Sac to Hawai'i, said the bags can be found here exclusively at Executive Chef at Ward Warehouse. They'll soon be in military outlets, too.
You can also find the product online at www.nutritionlifestyles.com, veseys.com, niftykitchen.com and at biggestlittlekitchenstore.com. They sell for about $10.