Will this salad stay fresh unrefrigerated?
March 19, 2017 4:01 PM   Subscribe

I found a new yummy salad to take to lunch. It has cut up cucumbers, tomato, mozzerella and onion in it. I'll have the dressing in a seperate container. Will this last in my bag at room temperature for five hours until eaten? Or should I find an insulated container? Thanks.
posted by starlybri to Food & Drink (22 answers total)
By insulated, I mean a container with an ice pack.
posted by starlybri at 4:03 PM on March 19

I think it will taste better, certainly I think it will be fine, but I'm good with room temperature cheese. Soneone else might tell you that is a recipe for food poisoning. I don't agree, YMMV.
posted by jbenben at 4:13 PM on March 19 [6 favorites]

Tomatoes don't hold up well for that long at room temperature once they are cut up...they lose a lot of water and get mushy.
posted by waving at 4:25 PM on March 19 [4 favorites]

Yeah, what jbenben said. It won't be cold, but it will be perfectly tasty and fine.
posted by tristeza at 4:26 PM on March 19

Could you sub grape or cherry tomatoes?
posted by pintapicasso at 4:36 PM on March 19 [11 favorites]

Definitely bring an ice pack, and it will be fine.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 4:44 PM on March 19

I'd eat that after 5-10 hours at room temperature. . Whether they were regular tomatoes or small variety left whole. I will admit that I struggle with the choice. The little ones usually taste better but are bearded to get a fork into, especially if they're slippery with dressing. Do what you like, it'll be fine.
posted by bilabial at 4:45 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

You don't need to bring an ice pack, and an ice pack is a pain. The salad certainly isn't going to go off in 5 hours, so why not try it and see if the texture is OK for you? If it isn't, then you can evolve to an icepack.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:46 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

I'd eat that without a second thought, given your constraints, and I am requesting the recipe, please!
posted by cooker girl at 5:15 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]

Cooker girl the recipe is here: https://ibb.co/dd4Edv
posted by starlybri at 5:20 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

Personally, I wouldn't eat mozzarella that's been at room temp for 5 hours. I think that's a dice roll in terms of safety. I'd bring an ice pack, for safety and for taste.
posted by gnutron at 5:25 PM on March 19

I would 100% use an insulated container with an ice pack. Fresh produce is a bigger source of bacterial contamination than most other foods because it's not cooked. 5-10 hours at room temp and any e.coli on in there has multiplied 15-30 times.

If the dressing has vinegar, i'd toss in that first, to raise the ph and make the environment less hospitable.
posted by dis_integration at 5:28 PM on March 19

Is get a large insulated container and use it. I have the Lunchbots one and it's pretty much perfect for salads. I refrigerate it overnight and pack it in the morning.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:31 PM on March 19 [2 favorites]

My favorite trick for keeping my lunch cold is to include a good-sized portion of cooked frozen edamame. It's the ice pack you can eat!
posted by contraption at 5:36 PM on March 19 [11 favorites]

I would happily eat this in the conditions you describe, with no worries.
posted by bunderful at 5:48 PM on March 19 [2 favorites]

Not exactly answering your question but reading the recipe...have you tried making it yet? I'm sort of thinking that the recipe reversed the vinegar and oil measurements. Ignore me if you've already tried it and it's delicious, but I think dressings are more commonly 3-4 parts of oil for 1 part vinegar (or lemon juice).
posted by dismitree at 7:32 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

And personally I'd most definitely have no concerns about eating 5hr room temperature salad & cheese.
posted by dismitree at 7:35 PM on March 19

I'd feel fine about it -- cheese *was* invented to help store fresh milk.

Seconding the comments about the tomatoes, though -- cut tomatoes age poorly. Could you store an uncut tomato separately, then slice it up right before you eat?
posted by steady-state strawberry at 8:27 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

In fact, mozzarella tastes better at room temperature.
posted by humboldt32 at 2:28 AM on March 20

I do this all the time and it's fine.
posted by ryanbryan at 3:25 AM on March 20

The onion might take over the flavor of everything else if it sits a while at room temp.
posted by mareli at 11:34 AM on March 20

From my perspective it will last just fine. The vegetables may not be as crisp as you may like but I routinely bring salads for lunch and they'll stay under my desk for 8+ hours before I eat them.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:05 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]

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