This Is The Correct Way To Store Your Arugula And Keep It Fresh

Fresh arugula is traditionally in season during early spring and fall, but it can be procured all year round these days. These popular greens add peppery flavor and a slight crunch to salads and other sides — but its best qualities can be lost if it's not stored the proper way and eaten in time. We did a little research so you can keep your arugula fresh for as long as possible, and know when it's time to toss it out.

There are many things you might want to know about arugula if you don't buy it often, and the best way to store it can vary based on how you purchase it. Arugula that comes in a plastic tub or bag can be kept there, as long as it's eaten within the best-by date stamped on the packaging. If you prefer to take arugula out of the plastic, or you buy it loose from a farm stand or market, try to store it in a reusable cloth or plastic storage bag. 

It's best to hold off on washing the arugula until you want to use it, as water on the leaves easily leads to wilting and spoilage. If there are long stems attached to the leaves, you can wrap the bottoms in a damp paper towel to supply some healthy hydration. Either way, keep arugula in your crisper or produce drawer in the fridge.

Arugula's shelf life, and signs it's past its prime

When you store bagged arugula following our advice, it should stay fresh for up to five days in the fridge. Loose arugula, though, might only keep for two days. Remember that your fridge should be set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (or lower) to properly preserve foods. You can technically freeze arugula, but the delicate leaves easily turn watery and soggy when defrosted, so it's not ideal. It's better to puree and freeze them in ice cube trays to dissolve into sauces and soups.

Here are telltale signs that your arugula in the fridge belongs in the trash or compost, and not in your next salad: Firstly, if the color has gone from bright green to a yellowish hue, arugula is on its way out. A slimy appearance or limp texture are also red flags. And if you can't see a visible change in the arugula, a foul smell is a sure way to know if it should be put in the garbage.

The best way to avoid spoilage is to simply use up your greens in arugula recipes ASAP. This strawberry arugula salad is an effortless way to use the greens in a traditional way, while our French bread white pizza uses the peppery green as a garnish.