ChatterTip of the Month December 2009

Storage and Cleaning of Fresh Vegetables & Herbs

© Adriana Mullen

Did you know that radishes & turnips stay fresh and crisp if you store them in a bowl of cold water (tops removed) in the refrigerator? Certain vegetables however, should not be refrigerated, such as potatoes, onions & squash. They are best stored in a cool, dark area and some people even recommend storing potatoes in a brown paper bag with an apple. Remember we put an apple in a brown paper bag to speed up ripening fruit, yet with potatoes, it apparently prevents spoilage.
Whenever you wash fresh vegetables, such as spinach, cabbage or leeks, first soak them in a sink of salted cold water. The salt will draw out any lingering bugs, earth or sand particles. Larger leaf varieties like lettuce & spinach, or for example green vegetables such as broccoli, beans & snow peas are best if washed first, then patted dry and stored in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel.

One of the best ways to store celery & asparagus and in particular fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro & parsley is to put them in a glass of water, like a bunch of flowers. Cut the stems first and use a tall glass only half-filled with water so that just the stems are submerged. You can also place a plastic bag over the herbal bouquet to prevent wilting.

And a wilted lettuce will apparently revive itself if you soak it in iced water for a few minutes – well who wouldn’t be revived after that?

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