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Fresh This Week Tips, June 6, 2010

Orange Honeydew

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STORE: Store your honeydew melon on the countertop for 2-4 days until ripe. A perfectly ripe honeydew will yield just a bit to pressure at the blossom end and smell sweet like honey.  Once ripe, store it whole in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
PREP: Wash your honeydew melon before slicing and gently scoop out the seeds. Then, cut into wedges or cube. You can also use a melon baller to make things more interesting!
USE: For tips on using your honeydew, see this week’s Know Your Produce Spotlight.


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STORE: Ripen peaches in a paper bag with the top folded over. Store your peaches on the countertop until ripe. A ripe peach will be firm but give way to pressure and will have a delicious “peachy” fragrance. Store ripe peaches in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
PREP: Take peaches out of the refrigerator 2 hours before eating and wash thoroughly. Pit peaches easily by cutting along the seam all the way through the fruit down to the pit and twist in opposite directions. You can also slice or dice your peaches. To skin peaches, cut an X on the bottom of the peach and blanch. Remember, your cut peaches will discolor quickly so toss them with lemon juice after cutting.
USE: Peaches, one of the quintessential summer fruits, is delicious in pies, cobblers, jams, smoothies, salsas and salads. On a summery day, grill your peaches by pitting them, and slicing them in half or into wedges. Then brush the peaches with canola oil and cook over a medium flame until tender. Serve as a side dish or topping on a salad.


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STORE: Remove the twist-tie that holds your bunch of spinach together and store fresh, unwashed spinach loosely packed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper for about five days.
PREP: Wash thoroughly by swishing leaves in a bowl full of tepid water and repeat until clean. Dry with paper towels or in a salad spinner.
USE: Boil spinach for one minute to bring out the flavor or simply keep raw. Make a delicious Strawberry & Spinach salad or Sephardic Spinach Patties. You can also add spinach to smoothies, add layers of steamed spinach to lasagna or simply saute with a little olive oil, garlic and a pinch of salt.

Beefsteak Tomatoes

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STORE: Store unripe tomatoes in a paper bag until ripe. Store ripe tomatoes in a cool place for up to 5 days. Do not store tomatoes in the refrigerator as it causes them to lose their flavor and become bland tasting.
PREP: Wash tomatoes in cold water before use. Slice tomatoes vertically with a sharp, preferably serrated knife for salads and sandwiches to prevent the juice and seeds spilling out. For stuffed tomatoes, cut horizontally and remove the seeds and juice.To peel your tomatoes, cut an X on the bottom of each tomato and blanch.
USE: Beefsteak tomatoes are perfect for sandwiches and hamburgers as well as in salads or salsa . You can broil, grill or stuff them. For a tasty summer salad, make Caprese. Arrange slices of beefsteak tomato and fresh mozzarella on a platter and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and top with a few basil leaves and freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.


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STORE: Store for up to one week in your crisper covered by a plastic or paper bag.
PREP: Keep whole and chop of ¼ inch off the stem or cut the head into bite-sized florets.
USE: Steam, roast, bake or stir fry cauliflower. Be careful not to overcook!  For a simple, delicious pizza, try this pizza with cauliflower crust recommended by a customer (great for those eating gluten free).