The Best Way to Revive Wilted Produce

By Cook's Illustrated Published May 2016

These are our test kitchen tips for reviving wilted produce.

A few years ago we found that soft leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, or arugula can be revived by simply soaking them in a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes. We wondered if a similar technique might be used to revive other types of produce.

Vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, celery, scallions, and parsley won’t admit water as quickly along their waxy stalks and stems as they do at their cut base. We found that the best way to revive these kinds of vegetables was to trim their stalks or stems on the bias and stand them up in a container of cold water in the refrigerator for about an hour. This exposes as many of their moisture-wicking capillaries as possible to water.

TRIM: Cut stalks on bias to expose more water-wicking capillaries.

HYDRATE: Stand produce in container filled with cold water for 1 hour.