What to Do About the Rusty Spots on Your Lettuce

Updated: May 18, 2023

Have you discovered rusty lettuce in the crisper drawer? You won't need to throw away that whole head of romaine.

I think summer is the best time for eating cold food. Bring me cool cucumber soup, pasta salad and watermelon pizza all day! When it comes to easy meals, though, I love good summer salads. It can be a hearty garden salad, a light Caesar salad or a protein-packed salad for dinner.

Whatever your preference, though, it’s best to start with fresh ingredients.

So what happens when you reach into the refrigerator and find that you have rusty lettuce? Don’t chuck out the whole head! Just romaine calm, because it’s an easy problem to fix.

What Are the Rusty Spots on Lettuce?

It’s a fairly simple explanation, really. The reddish-brown stuff that appears on your lettuce, often near the root, is what most professional chefs refer to as “rust.” It’s a pretty apt name once you think about it. Your case of “rusty lettuce” is due to an excess of moisture during the storage process. I promise, it looks worse than it actually is.

This is how to wash and store lettuce to keep it fresh.

Is Rusty Lettuce Safe to Eat?

Yes, the lettuce is still good, so there’s no need to waste it. It may look unappetizing, but the situation is easily salvageable. All you need to do is slice off the rusty red spots with a chef’s knife. Remember to hold the lettuce steady and cut away from your body with a sharp knife. You’ll have fresh-looking lettuce in no time at all!

Now that your lettuce is ready for showtime, this grilled romaine toss would go perfectly with grilled chicken and corn on the cob. If you’re looking for something that’s crisp and cool, you should absolutely try the feta romaine salad.

Lettuce Recipes to Use Your Romaine ASAP
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