How to Remove Rusty Brown Lettuce Spots

Everyone loves a good salad, but sometimes lettuce can be a pain. Delicate leaves can wilt or decay, and hearty lettuces like romaine can develop rusty brown spots. Don’t despair! There’s good news: a little brown lettuce doesn’t necessarily mean that the whole head is bad. Professional chefs call these spots “rust,” and they simply remove them before making a salad. Don’t throw that perfectly good lettuce away! Just follow these steps to remove lettuce rust and get cooking. 

rusty brown lettuce
These romaine heads have rusty brown spots, but they’re still good to eat

Rust usually occurs near the roots of a head of lettuce. These reddish-brown blemishes can be the result of too much moisture during storage. Although it’s not harmful, it can certainly be unappetizing. It’s best to remove these spots before making a salad. Luckily, it’s easy to just cut away any discoloration.

To remove the lettuce rust simply take a chefs knife, hold firmly onto the head of lettuce, and cut away from your hand.

remove brown lettuce spots
A little brown lettuce is no match for a chef’s knife

If the lettuce has more than one brown spot, just keep cutting until all the rusty pieces are removed. After the brown portions are removed, just continue your preparation. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, try a romaine salad with feta and roasted red bell peppers, or a hearty main course salad with chicken, homemade croutons, and creamy caper dressing.

romaine lettuce salad
Voilà, a perfectly good salad

Watch the video below to see how a Blue Apron chef gets rid of lettuce rust in just 20 seconds.

How To Slice Delicata Squash

Delicata squash is known for its characteristically delicate rind. Its cream-colored skin is so thin that it can be eaten. When roasted, the skin gives the squash a satisfying bite. Before roasting, you have to know how to slice squash.

Delicata squash can be sliced several ways. One unique way of serving this winter squash is to cut it into rings. To do this, first remove the ends of the squash with a chefs knife. Then, take the knife and slice all the way through the squash, making even 1/2-inch rounds. Each round will have a ring of squash on the outside, and a pocket of seeds in the center. Working one round at a time, insert a knife into the center of the squash ring. Turning the ring, use the knife to cut away the seeds. After you’ve cut all the way around, the seeds should pop right out.

One you’ve sliced the squash, you’re ready to roast. Coat the sliced squash lightly with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Lay the rings flat on a sheet, and bake in a 450°F oven for 15-20 minutes. After the rings have cooled, they’re ready to use. Place them on top of a salad or grain bowl, or serve them alongside your favorite protein.

Here are a few recipes we love that use sliced delicata squash:

Black Bean & Quinoa Bowls with Guacamole & Roasted Sliced Delicata Squash

how to slice squash and serve on quinoa
A hearty vegetarian dinner with roasted squash

Seared Chicken & Roasted Fall Vegetables with Caper-Butter Sauce

roasted chicken with sliced squash
Broccoli and delicata squash get a bath in briny caper butter in this fall dinner

Butter Chicken & Squash with Jasmine Rice

butter chicken and rice
The sauce brings the heat, the squash brings a delicate sweetness

Seared Chicken & Sour Cherry Pan Sauce with Roasted Vegetables

roasted squash and chicken
The perfect tart, sweet, and savory fall dinner

Hungry for more squash content? Check out our guide to cooking with spaghetti squash.