When we suggest recipes for salads to take in a container to work or for an outdoor picnic or excursion, we always recommend taking the vinaigrette on the side. The reason is the same as why, if we prepare a salad in advance, it is not advisable to dress them until serving time: lettuce and leaves spoil quickly. But there is an ingredient that can help us avoid it.
Nobody likes a poor salad. If on top of that we are trying to eat healthier or lighter, or trying to lose weight, of course it will not help us to open the container and find a withered mixture of leaves or soft lettuce, with a rubbery texture and sad color. The strong point of raw salads is precisely their freshness, that they radiate life and bright colors, with a crunchy texture and lush.
From the moment we cut and mix the ingredients they begin to spoil, and if we also add the vinaigrette sauce or dressing the process speeds up at breakneck speed. Although it is not for the reason that is usually believed.
Why dressed lettuce spoils and how to avoid it
Surely you have heard or read that lettuce and other leafy vegetables they wither due to the acidic ingredients in a vinaigrette, particularly vinegar, which is supposed to “cook” the raw ingredients. But the main enemy is in another ingredient.
The problem, as the expert Arthur Le Caisne points out, is in the oil, whatever the type. As much as we have shaken the vinaigrette, oil and vinegar do not get along at all, and when dressing it will be the fat that remains impregnating the leaves, while the vinegar will inevitably separate and fall to the bottom of the container. The oil remains adhered and is the one that spoils the lettuce.
The result, unless we eat the salad quickly, will be a hodgepodge of wilted leaves. unpleasant splashing in a vinegary watery bottom.
To avoid this unpleasant scenario we only have to resort to a very common ingredient: the mustard. It is as simple as adding a part of our favorite mustard to the basic dressing, or we can follow the instructions of a recipe such as honey mustard vinaigrette. First, we will get a more stable emulsionand, in addition, we will delay the lettuce rot.
The key to this trick is once again in the chemistry. By obtaining a denser, more homogeneous and compact emulsion, no fat separation and vinegar, the oil is trapped in that mixture and does not stick to the lettuce leaves. In this way, the salad will remain fresh and flavorful for longer, without the leaves blackening so quickly.
Mepal – Ellipse salad container – Nordic pink – capacity 1300 + 600 ml – ideal lunch box for carrying salads – food containers
Photos | timolina on Freepik
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