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How do you keep your mesclun fresh.

post #1 of 9
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Before I hollar off at my produce guys, I thought I'd ask others here how they keep their mesclun fresh? I seem to have a problem with some leaves going bad about 3 days after I purchase it. It seems other places I've worked it lasted longer. Currently, it's kept in the bag and box it's delivered in. Does it need to breath? Someone told me to take out the leaves and put in a bus tub with a damp towel on top. Does anyone here have any tips how they keep their mesclun fresh?
post #2 of 9
Mesc Mix varies by whats in season, if you see a lot of oak you know then oak is in and cheap, frizee , baby spinach and arugala same thing .
When it comes in it should be 3 pound boxes or more. . Whoever receives it tell them open box and check it . If discolored send it back. Do this a few times and vege guy will give you better.Take it out of box this way it will stay colder..(Date it)
I take out what I think I will use and rinse it in icewater and let it drain, this makes it crisper and nicer for service. I then put in a 6 inch ss insert and cover it with damp towl. Try not to bring it in on Mondays as its been in his box since Friday.(vege Guy) The one that goed bad quickest is red oak.:D
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post #3 of 9
I buy from US Foods and their produce sucks so bad. Baby spinach and mesclun almost always are sent back. It only takes one bad leaf to turn the whole bag bad. I changed my salad though,mesclun salads....everyone has them! There are almost as bad as seasame seed crusted tuna. When I did use that salad I just kept it in the box and prayed for the best.

Send it back a few times and maybe they will check your produce better, or do what I did and try out some new stuff. I use a three blend now. Romaine, Watercrest, and arugala, only downside is washing the arugala.
post #4 of 9
My opinion and experience is 3 days to hold mesculin is to long. I would by less more often.
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #5 of 9
I agree with chef.ESG.73, just remember that sometimes holiday constraints/ordering issues/delivery schedules can hog-tie you as well.

One trick that I find that works - I learned this when I worked in a resort with a weekly delivery schedule - is to put a slash in the plastic. Open all of the mesclun up, and sut the bags. Keep them in a cool place in your fridge, and they should last.

I also remember that refreshing your greens with ice water might help.

I hope that helps you out.

Jason Sandeman

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Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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Jason Sandeman

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Developing Systems So You Can Cook

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post #6 of 9
large zip lock bags
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #7 of 9
Mine has a "Best Before" date of 9 days after delivery, although it's always used up well before that time. The growers, Houston's Farm, devised a method of triple washing them so as to stay fresh longer. I think that the leaves are larger to what the Americans use though.

There's the added bonus that they're grown, processed and packaged only about a 15min drive up the road :D
post #8 of 9
I once worked with a guy who cooked at sea for weeks at a time. His recommendation was to put the washed lettuce in a bucket with scrunched up newspaper on the bottom and top and cover with a lid. The paper should absorb any excess moisture and you may be able to keep it a week in a fresh, crisp state.

As chef.ESG.73 implies, fresh is best.

My kitchen's method is to wash well in a bath of cold water (NOT under running water as it bruises the leaves) on delivery, spin in a salad spinner to remove all excess water, put in a container and keep at 2-3 degrees Celsius (sorry, not familiar with farenheit). My lettuce lasts well up to 5 days no problem.

Good luck!
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Kiwisizzler's blog

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post #9 of 9
Damp but well-wrung towel on top, dry towel to line the bin, and a hard cover for the bin itself, but not an air-tight one. The hard cover can be omitted if you're in a high volume place where the mesclun will get blown through in a couple days, but I suppose you wouldn't be asking about this in the first place if that were the case. :D

Depending on the quantity of mesclun, if it's a lot of mesclun then I'll also add a second dry towel in the middle before piling up the rest of the mesclun on top.

Paper towels will work too, though cloth are still best.

Reasoning: Damp layer on top, to prevent wilting while giving the mesclun some moisture to stay fresh. Dry layer on the bottom, to absorb any condensation and therefore prevent rot. The two in tandem IME are the most effective way to retain freshness. For uber-preservation (and if your kitchen towel budget allows for it), change out the towels every other day and downsize into fresh clean storage containers as the greens are used up, to remove the accumulated ethelenes, condensation and sulfides which encourage rot.

Also, when receiving the delivery, break open the bags and smell the mesclun. It should smell as fresh as it looks. Sometimes good looking mesclun will have a funky smell to it, not detectable unless you get your face in it, and that indicates a case further along the spoilage path, or one which wasn't refrigerated properly. -Then- you can give your purveyors an earful! :D

Pat
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