STORE: Place unripe kiwis in a paper bag with an apple, pear or banana at room temperature for a few days. These fruits give off ethylene gas, which helps accelerate ripening.
USE: Packed with more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange, the bright green flesh of the kiwifruit speckled with tiny black seeds adds a tropical flair to any fruit salad. Of course, kiwis are also delicious eaten straight out of their skin.
PREP: Wash the kiwi and dry lightly with a paper towel. Cut the kiwi in half so that you have two oval kiwi halves. Hold one kiwi half in your hand and slip the tip of a metal serving spoon just under the kiwi skin. Slide the spoon along the curve of the kiwi to separate the kiwi fruit from the skin. Slice the kiwi half into 1/4-inch slices.
STORE: Even firm, unripe peaches are delicate, so handle them carefully to avoid bruising. Ripen hard fruits at room temperature, stem-side down, until the flesh feels soft when pressed and they begin to emit a subtle fragrance. Refrigerate peaches only after they’ve ripened, which can prolong freshness for up to 5 days.
USE: Try grilling or roasting peaches for an excellent accompaniment to pork, fish, and chicken.
PREP: If baking, look for freestone peaches, whose pits are easier to remove. To slice, cut through to the pit all the way around the seam, twisting each half to dislodge the stone. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can prevent sliced fruit from browning. To remove the fuzzy skins before baking, submerge whole fruits in boiling water for 10 seconds, then slip off the skins.
STORE: Refrigerate, unwashed, in a plastic bag for up to 5 days.
USE: A component of ratatouille, zucchini is also good grilled, roasted, steamed, pan-fried, or raw. It also adds a boost to sweet breads and muffins.
PREP: Wash zucchini by gently rubbing them under cool water. Slice off both ends of the zucchini. Cut them into rounds, spears or half moons.
Start your morning off right with this interesting recipe, courtesy of Gojee.com, for Zucchini Pancakes.
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1/2 medium yellow onion
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
- Shred the zucchini and onion on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor with the shredding disk. Place the shredded vegetables in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with the salt. Toss to combine. Let drain for 30 minutes, then pick up by the handful and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Place on a kitchen towel or double layer of paper towels.
- In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, garlic, cheese, herbs, lemon zest, and pepper. Beat well with a fork. Add the drained zucchini mixture and mix together. Sprinkle the flour and baking powder on top and mix with a fork just until well combined.
- Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy pan. When the oil is hot, drop the batter into the pan by heaping tablespoonful. Cook for about three minutes on the first side, until nicely browned. Flip and cook for about two minutes more. Place the cooked pancakes on a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining oil and batter. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, sour cream, tzatziki or applesauce.