I’ve been wanting to join a Community Supported Agriculture group for about 2 years and finally signed us up. I want to increase our fruit and veggie intake, learn more about what’s in season and try new-to-me items. My CSA farm is in Capay, Yolo County, California.
The bright colors in my box this week really smacked me in the face; so beautiful and bright. I realized that I wasn’t entirely certain the best way to keep each vegetable at their best throughout the week.
I’m very lucky to have a good friend in Chef Susan Beach. Chef Susan is an executive chef and stocks a crazy awesome salad bar every day as well as creating fresh seasonal soups. As we went down the list she told me how she would handle each item in my box.
Me: The King Trumpet Mushrooms arrived in a plastic container within the cardboard box, should I leave them like that?
Chef Susan: I would take them out and put them in a paper bag right away then in the fridge.
Me: I got these cute little carrots with the greens still on. I’ve already been snacking on them but I still have a bunch with the greens.
Chef Susan:Take off the greens and if you wash them, make sure they’re dry and/or wrap them in a paper towel then put them in a plastic bag in the fridge
Me: I’ve also been snacking on the red radishes, and I took off the greens already.
Chef Susan:I store those in water. Trim the greens and the roots and then store them in water in the fridge.
Me: I got two very large heads of lettuce and know I will eat one in the next couple of days but not the other.
Chef Susan: If you’re going to eat it in less than three days, take off the outer leaves and discard them, break apart each leaf and wash them and shake off the excess water and put them in a plastic container. If it is longer term, leave it. Don’t wash it, just put it in a plastic bag and put it in the crisper drawer in the fridge.
Me: I got a pound of small potatoes in a plastic bag.
Chef Susan:Store those in a dark, dry place. Not in the fridge Take them out of the plastic bag. Strainers are good storage containers.
Me: I put the cilantro in a canning jar with a little water at the bottom. Is that ok?
Chef Susan: That’s good.
Me: I got these are larger, purple onions with greens on top. Much bigger than last week’s.
Chef Susan: I find that if you cut the tops and the bottoms off, take the skin off and store them in an air tight plastic container, it serves two purposes: Not only does it help them stay fresh longer, but you won’t cry as much when you cut them.
I also asked her about the fava beans since now I have 2 lbs. of them. She suggested a soup and said that the slight browning of the outer pods of the last week’s batch won’t change the flavor of the bean. She said my storing them in a bag in the fridge is fine.