Let Us Eat Lettuce

By Marykate Smith Despres, Salem Depot

I’ll admit it: I let the lettuce go bad. More than once. I stick it in the vegetable drawer vowing to myself that I’ll wash it and make a salad tomorrow, but, inevitably, it wilts. There is a unique sadness to be found in a defeated, deflated head of lettuce forgotten in the bottom of the fridge.

Believe it or not, I love salad. I just hate washing lettuce.

Which brings me to tip No. 1 for Using Your Lettuce:

1. Get a salad spinner.

It’s not the washing of lettuce that’s so terrible; it’s the drying. I live in a very tiny apartment with a very tiny kitchen leaving inadequate space for the storage or subsequent drying of a salad spinner. But believe you me, if I had a salad spinner, that magical device that guarantees the end of soggy salad while providing more than moderate entertainment in its operating, never again would a head of lettuce perish in my kitchen.

For the time being, however, I continue to exist without a salad spinner, necessitating Tip No. 2 for Using Your Lettuce:

2. Eat lots of sandwiches.

In heat like this, the sandwich is our best friend. No turning on of stoves or ovens required. The sandwich can provide a complete meal of protein, fruits, vegetables, and grains with minimal prep time and convenient portability. Nothing makes a sandwich like a few fresh pieces of lettuce and even if you don’t have a salad spinner, you can easily wash a few leaves and dry them between paper towels or cloth napkins. Eat enough sandwiches and before you know it, your lettuce is spent.

If you are bored by salad spinners and sandwiches, however, you may be more inclined to employ Tip No. 3 for Using Your Lettuce:

3. Liquify!

Depending on the variety, lettuce can be made up of nearly 95 percent water. This high water content makes lettuce almost impossible to preserve, but also makes it the perfect base for homemade juices. It is also high in vitamin A, among others, and potassium. Try juicing your lettuce with other seasonal veggies from the coop like cucumber, beets and carrots for a refreshing, highly nutritious meal or snack.