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Fresh This Week Tips – June 28, 2011


STORE: Garlic scapes store well, though freshly cut scapes taste the best. You can keep them in the refrigerator for a month or more, in a paper bag to avoid turning them into a slimy science project. They freeze well, too–blanched or not–but they tend to lose some of the garlicky heat during storage. You can remove the stalk tip above the pod before using; some people use the whole scape, but the pod and tip are more fibrous than the tender stalk.

USE: Scapes tend to get tough and/or lose flavor if overcooked, so start simple. To learn how much cooking is enough and how much is too much, cut scapes to desired lengths and sauté in a little olive oil over medium heat, adding salt and pepper to taste. The end result should be a side dish that is elegant and tasty.

PREP: Whether you’re sautéing, pureeing, or dicing them, garlic scapes are a great addition to many different meals. Great in multiple forms, this ingredient gives many recipes an extra dash of flavor that will compliment a variety of summer dishes like mashed potatoes, stir fry, omelets, pesto, or pasta.


STORE: Select potatoes that feel firm to the touch, with no bruised or bald spots, cuts, sprouts or green areas. One potato with a soft spot or damaged area will hasten the deterioration of the rest. They need a cold environment, 40 to 50 degrees F., and 90 percent humidity is optimum. Store gold potatoes in a paper bag (preferable) or perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator vegetable crisper drawer, and use within a week.

USE: Do not wash before storing, as you will remove the protective coating. Lightly scrub just prior to using. This all-purpose potato is good for just about any cooking process, so feel free to experiment using golds in any recipe calling for traditional white potatoes. Gold potatoes are great for those who love potatoes but want or need to avoid butter or margarine. They have a natural buttery flavor built in. Potatoes can be boiled, baked, cooked, grilled, or microwaved, so the possibilities for their use are endless.

PREP: While the skin of potatoes is perfectly fine to eat, and delicious, feel free to use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer layer as needed. If you are leaving the skin on, make sure to scrub the potato under cold running water to remove any dirt remaining on the skin. Using a sharp utility knife or the tip of a vegetable peeler, remove eyes, blemishes or green spots. A potato masher is the perfect utensil for creating mashed potatoes or homemade baby food.


STORE: Keep d’Anjou pears in a loose plastic bag in the coldest part of the fridge. They need consistent cold temperatures and will hold seven to 10 days. Ripen pears, only as many as you can use, for two to three days at room temperature. Once a pear hits peak ripeness, consume it within a day or so.

USE: Since the main draw of any fruit is its great flavor, the subtle sweetness and slight tanginess of the d’Anjou pears make it an instant favorite. They are great in salads and eaten raw by themselves or paired with cheese. Sweet juicy d’Anjou are perfect for baking into desserts like tarts or pies.

PREP: Eat this pear as you would an apple, or use it fresh in salads. I find that fresh slices will hold an hour or so without oxidizing and turning brown. But it’s a versatile pear variety and can also be baked in dishes. The core of the green d’Anjou is thicker than most other varieties so it’s worth cutting out.