STORE: Refrigerate unwashed blueberries in their container, they’ll last up to a week longer than most berries. Dry, unwashed berries can be frozen for up to a year in an airtight container.
USE: To reduce the amount of color streaking, gently fold blueberries (unthawed, if frozen) into your cake or muffin batter at the last minute. For prettier pancakes, add the berries as soon as the batter has been poured instead of mixing them into the batter.
PREP: When ready to use, place the berries in a colander and dip into a bowl of cold water. Gently swish in the water and then allow the berries to drain. Carefully spread out in a single layer and gently pat dry with a paper towel. When blueberries are completely dry they can be eaten or added to other ingredients as instructed by the recipe.
STORE: Refrigerate peppers unwashed in a plastic bag. Red and yellow peppers will last up to 5 days; green, about a week.
USE: Peppers stand up well to grilling, baking, stuffing, and sautéing. Roasting makes them deliciously smoky.
PREP: When it comes to preparing bell peppers, first wash and dry them. Then, remove the stem by cutting around it in a circle. This gets rid of most of the seeds. When you look inside, you’ll see the white “ribs”; slice down the ribs, so that you have three or four pieces of pepper.
STORE: Wrap uncut stems in a damp paper towel, place inside a plastic bag, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
USE: Wash parsley thoroughly before using. Let them soak in a dish of water and then stir them to dislodge dirt. Another method is to put the herbs in a colander under a high-pressure spray.
PREP: Choose curly or flat leaf parsley. The flat leaf has more flavor, and is sometimes called the “Italian” leaf. Chop parsley for use in dishes. Use only the stems to add flavor to a sauce if you don’t want the green bits of parsley to show. Adding parsley to a dish when it’s nearly cooked ensures that the flavor of the herb will remain. Add it too early, and the flavor may evaporate or get lost amidst other flavors.