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Fresh This Week Tips 9.26.2010


STORE: Your pluots will continue to ripen once off the tree. Turn them upside down and leave them on the counter away from the sun. When ripe, store them unwrapped in the refrigerator for up to three days.

PREP: If stored in the refrigerator, remove your pluots before eating and let them return to room temperature. They taste much better this way. Rinse and leave whole, slice into wedges or cut into chunks.
USE: These sweet Dapple Dandy Pluots can be eaten out of hand, as a fresh topping for yogurt, dehydrated into dried pluots or made into jam. You can also experiment by substituting them for plums in recipes (afterall, they are the delicious hybrid of the plum and apricot).


STORE: Keep your mangoes in a plastic or paper bag in the cupboard. The Keitt mango changes color from an orange-ish green to a bright green when ripe. A ripe mango will yield to gentle pressure. Once ripe, refrigerate for up to 1 week.
PREP: Using a sharp knife, slice around the stone. Cut a checkered pattern onto the cut mango. Flip the skin inside out and slice the cubes into a bowl.
USE: The Keitt mango is larger, sweeter and less fibrous than other mangoes. They can be eaten whole or used in desserts and curries. For a delicious morning treat, enjoy a mango smoothie: a combination of diced mango, a banana, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 cup of orange juice and ice cubes. Blend till frothy!


STORE: Store your red onions in a cool, dry place (not in the fridge as they will go soft). They will keep for several months. Once cut, wrap them up in the fridge and use within two or three days.
PREP: To prepare your onion, begin by cutting off the top and removing the papery skin. To chop, cut your onion in half and slice vertically from top to bottom and horizontally. To slice, trim the root off, then cut in slices moving from the root end towards the top. Leave as slices or separate each one out into rings.
USE: Enjoy your red onions raw in Greek salads or on turkey sandwiches. If you aren’t a fan of raw onions, add them to a stir fry, pickle them or try a new twist on the old classic with French Red Onion Soup.


STORE: Store unripe tomatoes in a paper bag until ripe. Store ripe tomatoes in a cool place for up to 5 days.
PREP: Wash tomatoes in cold water before use. Slice tomatoes vertically for salads and sandwiches to prevent the juice and seeds spilling out. To peel your tomatoes, cut an X on the bottom of each tomato and blanch.
USE: Tomatoes are wonderful accompaniments to salads and pastas. Chop tomatoes and add them to a simple pesto pasta. You’ll get beautiful color and fresh flavor with one easy step!