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Fresh This Week Tips 12.21.2010


STORE: It can be left at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for weeks.

PREP: Kiwi can be sliced in half and hollowed out with a spoon or eaten whole. The skin of kiwifruit is edible once the fuzz is rubbed off. If the seeds are crushed, they can be bitter. The seeds are edible, but can be scooped out.

USE: Can be eaten raw as a snack or an addition to breakfast. They are also popular in salads. It can be used in sauces and dips. It can be used as a garnish for entrees. Kiwifruit can be gently cooked near the end of a dish’s cooking time. Overcooking will result in the breakdown of the fruit.


STORE: Watercress is highly perishable, so store it in a perforated bag in the fridge and eat it within a couple of days. Alternatively, treat it like a bunch of flowers and put in a glass of water in the fridge, covering the leaves with a plastic bag – it can last a little longer that way.

PREP: Wash and shake dry just before you’re about to use it. Both the leaves and stems are edible – just trim off any tough roots.

USE: In a salad with rocket and orange segments; combine with potatoes in a soup; use in tarts and omelettes; use to make white bread sandwiches or as a garnish for cooked foods such as game.


STORE: Wrap sunchokes in paper towels and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator vegetable drawer for up to a week.

PREP: Peeling sunchokes is optional. The thin peel has a slightly chewy texture, but it’s not unpleasant, and you may find the effort of peeling their knobby surfaces isn’t worth the return. The cut surfaces of sunchokes, like those of potatoes, tend to oxidize and turn pink. To prevent this, submerge cut sunchokes in lemon water until ready to cook.

USE: Sunchokes become tender and slightly starchy when cooked. To roast them, cut them into chunks, toss with a little oil, season, and add to a roasting pan with a whole chicken or a pork or beef roast during the last half hour of cooking. You can steam or boil whole sunchokes until tender and then mash them roughly or serve them whole. For a creamy soup (the one instance where you may want to peel sunchokes so the soup has a smooth texture), simmer cut-up sunchokes in broth and milk or cream until tender and then purée. And to make addictive sunchoke chips, fry thin slices in peanut oil.

However you prepare them, keep the seasoning mild and minimal to allow the sunchokes’ subtle flavor to shine. Vinaigrettes, cream, butter, goat cheese, garlic, nuts, herbs, nutmeg, mace, coriander, fennel seed, mushrooms, bacon, and lemon juice all pair well with sunchokes.

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