Produce Storage Tips

Fresh Vegetables
Artichokes
Keep artichokes refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag to retain moisture. Steam and serve with browned butter and vinaigrette for dipping.
Arugula
Keep arugula refrigerated (32-36°F), stored in a perforated plastic bag, away from fruits to avoid deterioration. Arugula is good raw in a salad or cooked with other leafy greens.
Asparagus
Cut an inch off the bottom of asparagus spears. Submerge ends in water and refrigerate (32-36°F). Steam or sauté until just tender – do not overcook!
Beets
Keep beets refrigerated (32-36°F). The stems can be removed and they do not need to be in a plastic bag. Roasted beets are one way to prep beets for mixed salads. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Tightly wrap beets in double layers of foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour.
Bok Choy
Keep bok choy refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag. Wash and chop bok choy. Stir-fry with ginger and garlic, adding soy sauce to the pan just before serving.
Broccoli, Broccolini, Broccoli Rabe
Keep broccoli refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag to retain moisture. Steam or sauté.
Cabbage & Brussel Sprouts
Store cabbage and brussel sprouts in the refrigerator (32-36°F), in a perforated plastic bag. Chop cabbage or trim brussel sprouts and blanch for 12 minutes in boiling salted water, or until they are tender.
Carrots
Keep carrots refrigerated (32-36°F). Remove tops and store in a perforated plastic bag. Eat raw as a snack or sauté with olive oil and garlic.
Cauliflower & Romanesco
Keep cauliflower refrigerated (32-36°F). Chop and eat raw as a snack or in a salad, or steam and serve with salt and pepper. You can also place the cauliflower on a baking sheet, top with olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes.
Corn
Keep corn refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag. Boil in salted water for two minutes and serve with butter or olive oil and cracked pepper.
Cucumbers
Keep cucumbers refrigerated (32-36°F). Slice them thinly and mix with yogurt, salt and pepper for a quick salad that’s cool for summertime.
Eggplant
Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Place eggplant rounds on rimmed baking sheet; brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place rounds on grill and cook until tender and golden, about 4 minutes per side.
Fennel
Keep fennel refrigerated (32-36°F). You can use the green fronds with meats or fish when roasting. Trim the white bulb and slice into ½ inch thick slices. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. This gives the fennel a sweet, caramelized flavor.
Garlic
Store whole heads of garlic in a cool, dry, dark place (45-50°F) with good ventilation, but do not refrigerate. However, always refrigerate peeled or cut garlic in a sealed container. Use in dressings, marinades and stir-frying for flavor.
Greens: Kale, Collard Greens, Chard, Mustard Greens
Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag. Discard stems or put aside for stock. Chop leafy part and wash thoroughly. Strain – greens are now ready to sauté with onions and garlic or steam and serve with a wedge of lemon.
Green Beans
Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), in a perforated plastic bag. Trim green beans and boil in salted water for 4 minutes. Strain and toss with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil.
Green Onions
Keep refrigerated (32-36°F) in a sealed plastic bag. Use fresh in salads or marinades, or sauté with vegetables.
Kohlrabi
Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag to retain moisture. Slice the kohlrabi and eat plain, or grate it into a savory salad.
Leeks
Keep leeks refrigerated (32-36°F). Trim white part, discard greens. Slice the white part into ½ inch rounds. Place in glass dish and drizzle with olive oil; bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
Lettuce
Keep lettuce refrigerated (32-36°F), stored in a perforated plastic bag, away from fruits to avoid deterioration. Lettuce is good in sandwiches or simply tossed with vinegar and olive oil.
Onions
Store whole onions in a cool, dry, dark place (55-65°F) with good ventilation, away from potatoes (which absorb the onions’ moisture). Always refrigerate cut onions. Heat a pan over medium-high heat, add butter or olive oil, and then add the cut onions. Cook until caramelized and add to any dish for a deep, rich taste!
Parsnips
Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag to retain moisture. Use a mixture of parsnips and potatoes the next time you make mashed potatoes – you will get a much richer, complex taste!
Peppers
Store whole peppers in a cool, dry place (45-50°F), away from fruits to avoid over-ripening. Always refrigerate cut peppers. Gypsy and bell peppers can be eaten raw as a snack or in a salad. Sweet peppers are also great stir-fried.
Potatoes
Store whole potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place (45-50°F) with good ventilation, but do not refrigerate. Boil potatoes on stovetop or bake small potatoes on a baking sheet at 400°F for 30 minutes.
Radishes
Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag to retain moisture. Wash radishes and serve alongside carrots with dip for an aperitif.
Snap Peas
Keep snap peas refrigerated (32-36°F), in a perforated plastic bag. Take the snap peas out of the pod and sauté with olive oil and sea salt.
Spinach
Keep spinach refrigerated (32-36°F), stored in a perforated plastic bag, away from fruits to avoid deterioration. Wash spinach and remove stems. Sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat; when browned, add the spinach. Once it is completely wilted, add salt and pepper to tasted. Toss with pasta or use as a crêpe filling with Gruyère cheese.
Summer Squash
Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag. Fir up the barbecue. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Place on rimmed baking sheet; brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash on grill and cook until tender and golden, about 4 minutes per side.
Sweet Potatoes
Store whole sweet potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place (45-50°F) with good ventilation, but do not refrigerate. Cut in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet; top with olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. You can also top the sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar and bake in the same manner.
Tomatoes
Keep tomatoes at room temperature (55-70°F). Do not refrigerate, as it will make the tomatoes mealy and flavorless. Cut tomatoes and mix with a balsamic dressing or slice tomatoes and serve with fresh mozzarella.
Turnips
Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag to retain moisture. Peel 1 lb turnips or rutabagas and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges. Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat, then add turnips or rutabagas, ½ cup water, ½ tablespoon lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Increase heat to medium and stir turnips, then briskly simmer, uncovered, until all of liquid has evaporated and turnips are glazed and just tender, 20 to 35 minutes (they should be cooked through but still retain their shape).
Winter Squash
Store winter squash in a cool, dry place (45-50°F). Cut into cubes and place on a baking dish. Roast at 375°F for 30 minutes.
Fresh Fruits
Apples
Keep apples refrigerated (32-36°F), storing them away from vegetables, as apples produce ethylene, a ripening agent. Eat raw as a snack, or slice into a green salad with walnuts or pecans. Apples are also delicious when thinly sliced and incorporated into a sandwich with soft-ripened cheese.
Avocadoes
Ripen avocadoes in a paper bag on your countertop; when fully ripe, store whole avocadoes in a cool, dry place (45-50°F). Mash the avocadoes and add a bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper for a simple guacamole.
Figs
Keep figs refrigerated (32-36°F). They are perfect plain and also drizzled with honey for dessert.
Lemons & Limes
Store in a cool, dry place (45-50°F), away from other fruits to avoid absorption of off-flavors. Wash before using. Lemons and limes are good in salad dressing, iced tea and simply squeezed into a pitcher of water for a kick of flavor.
Mangoes
Keep mangoes refrigerated (32-36°F). Mangoes are good plain and are a great addition to fruit salad.
Melons
Store whole melons in a cool, dry place (45-50°F), away from other fruits. Always store cut melons in the refrigerator. Eat plain or cut into small pieces in a fruit salad.
Oranges, Grapefruit & Mandarins
Store in a cool, dry place (45-50°F). Always refrigerate cut citrus. Oranges, grapefruit & mandarins are a seasonal pleasure – they’re great eaten plain or make for delicious fresh squeezed juice.
Pears
Store whole pears in the refrigerator (32-36°F). Pears are tasty plain, but can also make for an elegant dessert. Cut in half lengthwise and lay on a baking dish; top with butter and brown sugar and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.
Persimmons
When ripe, store them in the refrigerator (32-36°F). There are two varities of persimmons – Fuyu and Hachiya. The Fuyu variety can be eaten plain, biting into the persimmon like you would an apple. Cook the Hachiya variety in stews or in apple pie.Cook the Hachiya variety in stews or in apple pie or wait until they are so ripe they are soft and mushy, then they can be eaten fresh. Freezing the Hachiya also removes the surprising texture they possess when eaten firm and uncooked.
Pomegranates
Keep pomegranates refrigerated (32-36°F). To remove the seeds: Cut out the blossom end, remove some of the white pith, but do not break the red pulp around the seeds. Score the skin into quarters. Break the pomegranate into halves and then halve again following score lines. Bend back the rind and pull out the seeds. Eat seeds whole or juice into mixed drinks.
Stone Fruit: Nectarines, Apricots, Peaches, Plums, Pluots, Apriums
Store whole stone fruit in the refrigerator (32-36°F). Eat plain as a snack or in a fruit salad.
Strawberries & Bush Berries
Fresh berries are highly perishable. Store them in the coldest part of the refrigerator (32-36°F), loosely covered with plastic wrap. Do not wash until ready to use. Serve plain or in a fruit salad.
Others
Herbs
Remove band or tie; wash and dry. Snip off the ends and submerge them in a glass of water. Cover with a plastic bag and leave in the refrigerator. Add herbs to sauces, such as tomato sauces and béchamels for flavor.
Lavender
Great for decoration or the lavender florets can be used for seasoning and baking. This is most likely Provence lavender which is not as mild as preferred culinary lavenders but is great for decoration or aromatherapy uses.
Mushrooms
Store mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator (32-36°F). Sauté with butter or olive oil and garlic.
Nuts
Store nuts in a cool, dry place (45-50°F), off the floor, in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware container. Do not refrigerate, as the environment is too moist. Nuts can also be frozen in airtight containers for longer term storage; this prevents the nuts from going stale.
A Trick to Revive Your Wilted Greens or Lettuce
Wilted Greens
Wilted greens and lettuce are often just dried out which can still occur even if the greens remain in constant refrigeration.
Cold Water Overnight
Submerge the wilted greens in cold water by placing them in a dish, filling it with water, and putting it in the refrigerator overnight.  You can also revive them by plunging in iced water for 30-45 minutes.
Greens Revived
This is what these chard greens looked like after 12 hours in the refrigerated water. Now you never need to compost your wilted greens or lettuce.

3 thoughts on “Produce Storage Tips

  1. This is a great feature – I am always googling how to store things best. Have been coming to your blog for a while now but never commented. Ridiculously gorge pics and great recipes, and I always enjoy your food and life philosophy. Thanks! ~Molly

  2. I would like to know if you would be interested in receiving news and recipes from Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farms in Gonzales, Texas. They are the only family-owned, Texas-based mushroom farm. I am coordinating public relations for Kitchen Pride. Many thanks in advance.
    Kay Floyd
    Kay Floyd & Associates Public Relations
    kay@kayfloydpr.com
    210-824-7387 (San Antonio(
    210-823-9794 cell

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