How To Use Up Sad, Wilted Lettuce With 1 Simple And Delicious Trick

The humble salad is one of the biggest contributors to landfill—here’s a tasty way to stop the waste.

February 15, 2017
Woman holding wilted lettuce

When it comes to food waste, salad greens are public enemy number one. Americans throw out an estimated 700 million pounds of romaine and leaf lettuce which, when it decomposes in landfills, emits methane gas—one of the greenhouse gases associated with climate change. The next time your mesclun mix starts to wilt, throw it in a skillet instead of the garbage. Sautéeing the limp greens transforms them into a vibrant, low-effort side dish and does the planet a good turn.

Salad Stir-Fry

As many sad, wilting greens as you have on hand 
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
fine sea salt, to taste


In a medium skillet, heat olive oil and garlic over medium low until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and fine sea salt and cook until sizzling, about 1 minute. Toss in greens and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Customize it however you want: serve with rice or noodles, put a fried egg on it, or douse with chili sauce.