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Fresh This Week Tips 01.04.11

Citrus: Oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and grapefruit are loaded with vitamin C. They’re great for juicing, flavoring baked goods or marinades, or just eating out of hand. Here’s the best way to keep them fresh, juicy and tasty for as long as possible.

STORE: Keep citrus fruit at room temperature for up to a week. Keep them in a cool dark place, out of direct sunlight, and be sure to check them regularly for spoilage.

Extend the life of your citrus fruit by storing them in the refrigerator. Store them in a mesh, cheesecloth or perforated plastic bag. Avoid airtight containers, as these will collect condensation that can promote mold and spoilage. You may also store citrus fruit in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Refrigerated citrus may keep for up to several weeks.

PREP: For the most juicy, intense flavor, allow citrus fruit to come to room temperature before eating or using. Wash citrus under running water before use.

USE: You may grate the peel into “zest”, cut in half and squeeze the juice out for use in baked goods. Peel and slice to add to fruit salads or yogurt, or slice into segments and serve as a healthy snack after school.
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Red Potatoes

STORE: Keep potatoes for up to 3 weeks in a paper bag in a cool, dark, dry place—never in plastic, in the refrigerator, or under a sink, as moisture speeds decay and refrigeration can darken them and adversely affect flavor.


– Clean potatoes by scrubbing gently with a vegetable brush; peeling is optional, but any eyes should be removed.

– Boiling potatoes in their skins helps them retain starch, which makes them fluffy, not mushy.

– After they’re cut, prevent potatoes from browning by placing them in a bowl of cold water to cover.

USE: Red potatoes are best for potato salads, gratins, roasted, scalloped, soups and chowders.


STORE: Store your leeks lightly wrapped in plastic wrap to contain odor and moisture. Don’t trim or wash them before storing. Keep them in the crisper of your refrigerator for up to one week.

PREP: Follow These Four Easy Steps*

1. Cut off the dark green part: Slice off the leek’s dark green end, trimming to the part where the color is a pale green. You can save these ends to make stock, but they’re too tough to eat on their own.

2. Cut off the end; slice stalk the lengthwise: Take the remaining white stalk, cut off the root end, and slice the leek in half lengthwise.

3. Run leeks under water or chop: If you’re using leek halves intact, hold them under running water, separating the layers slightly to help dislodge the grit (for, say, roasting). Or, if your recipe calls for chopped leeks, skip this step and slice your stalks instead.

4. Swish in water and strain: Dunk leek slices in a bowl of cool water, swishing to let grit sink to the bottom. Strain pieces to remove excess water.

USE: Leeks are related to the onion, yet have a milder, mellower taste. Use your leeks in any recipe that calls for onions. Try out this delicious and home-warming Smashed Potato and Leek Soup:

* Original content from Real Simple Magazine.

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