I think really wet lettuce in a salad is annoying.
I have a little procedure I now follow to make sure my salad greens are ready to soak up a yummy dressing. As well as not leaving a puddle of water in my salad bowl or chomping on sand or bugs - don't laugh - this is a real problem with "fresh" produce in Switzerland. Of course produce from the Farmer's Markets is fresh and occasionally has bugs. My girls love playing with the inch worms that have made their home in our broccoli or greens.
I wash my greens the day before or up until 20 minutes before we eat. It may seem like a lot of work but I find that it is worth it to start a salad with clean and relatively dry greens.
Step by step instructions of how I wash greens:
1 - Cut up the greens.
2 - Put greens in colander.
3 - Rinse really well. If greens are really sandy or dirty or have tons of bugs, soak and swish them in cold water in a large bowl first and then do the same rinsing in the colander.
4 - Check to make sure the greens are clean. Re-rinse until they look good.
5 - Squeeze all the water out with your hands.
Of course, the best thing to do would be to spin in a salad spinner but mine is melting in a storage facility in Arizona, so I squeeze.
6 - Put greens in a paper towel lined bowl.
I usually have more than 1 type of green in my salad, so my greens are layered with paper towels in between them.
green leaf lettuce 1st . . . red leaf lettuce . . .
. . . and spinach.
7 - Finish by putting another paper towel on top.
8 - Put in the fridge until ready to toss salad.
When we are ready to eat I pull all the layers of paper towels out and toss the greens. I usually make a large bowl of greens that we will eat for dinner and then lunch the next day. As long as they have the paper towel on them in the fridge my greens stay moist and unwilted. Thanks Jack for the inspiration for my storage procedure.
Some of my favorite salad greens:
~ baby spinach
~ Swiss chard
(little leaves that look like spinach but have red veins)
~ red leaf lettuce
~ green leaf lettuce
~ romaine lettuce
~ butter lettuce
(bitter but once you try it, you might get hooked and love it?)