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Fresh This Week Tips – July 19, 2011


STORE: Store fresh fennel in the refrigerator crisper, where it should keep fresh for about four days. However, it is best to consume fennel soon after purchase since as it ages, it tends to gradually lose its flavor.

USE: The stalks of the fennel can be used for soups, stocks and stews, while the leaves can be used as an herb seasoning. Try using Fennel to make an antipasto salad, with fish, onion soup or add it to a vegetable side like green beans for some extra flavor.

PREP: The three different parts of fennel—the base, stalks and leaves—can all be used in cooking. Cut the stalks away from the bulb at the place where they meet. If you are not going to be using the intact bulb in a recipe, then first cut it in half, remove the base, and then rinse it with water before proceeding to cut it further. The best way to slice it is to do so vertically through the bulb.


STORE: Do not wash rainbow chard before storing it because exposure to water can encourage spoilage. Place chard in a plastic storage bag and wrap the bag tightly around it, squeezing out as much of the air from the bag as possible. Place in refrigerator where it will keep fresh for up to 5 days. If you have large batches of chard, you can also blanch the leaves and then freeze them.

USE: Great in salads, chard can also be cooked. If you’re looking to cook your chard, one of the best ways to bring out the sweetest flavors is by boiling it for at least 3 minutes, but be sure to discard the water once it is fully cooked. This ingredient makes a great addition to many Italian dishes or breakfast frittatas.

PREP: Rinse chard under cold running water. Remove any area of the leaves that may be brown, slimy, or have holes. Stack the leaves and slice into 1-inch slices until you reach the stems. Cut stems into 1/2-inch slices discarding the bottom 1 inch portion.


STORE: To store celery, place it in a sealed container or wrap it in a plastic bag or damp cloth and store it in the refrigerator. If you are storing cut or peeled celery, ensure that it is dry and free from water residue, as this can drain some of its nutrients.

USE: There are many great ways to use celery both as a delicious snack and in a meal. Consider adding chopped celery to your favorite tuna fish or chicken salad recipe or include celery leaves in a salad. Try braising chopped celery, radicchio and onions and serve topped with walnuts and your favorite soft cheese.

PREP: To clean celery cut off the base and leaves, then wash the leaves and stalks under running water. Cut the stalks into pieces of desired length. If the outside of the celery stalk has fibrous strings, remove them by making a thin cut into one end of the stalk and peeling away the fibers.