Here’s a few tips to help you get the most out of your Lee Greens summer vegetables and enjoy your salad days!
Lettuce, leafy greens etc
Even if you put your more delicate veg like salad leaves straight into your fridge crisper it can deteriorate quickly. The heads of lettuce we offer at Lee Greens are more resilient than bags of leaves but if your lettuce has gone limp you can revive with a spritz, a bit of a soak or a little ice bath. Barbecuing or griddling a lettuce head is another good way to perk it up.
If you’re not planning to eat your leafy greens like chard and spinach straight away then storing them in the fridge will help them keep longer. But fridges are dessicating, drying environments and as many of your greens have a high water content you might want to give them a wash in tepid water, dry and pop in a plastic bag to store.
The great tomato debate - to refrigerate or not to refrigerate? Putting your toms in the fridge will extend their life but also reduce flavour - the enzymes which give them that delightful umami flavour which reacts with tomato flesh when we eat them are destroyed at temps lower than 4c. Tomatoes are grown in the sun after all so have a try leaving them out on the counter and enjoy the flavour!
One of the purest pleasures of the summer season, your new potatoes may arrive with a little soil which will protect and prevent bruising. Thin-skinned and with a higher water content, news are more perishable than maincrops so store them in a cool, dark, well ventilated place and enjoy them at their best within a few days.
Both onions and potatoes release moisture which can lead to spoiling so best to keep them apart. Keeping them in plastic bags will prematurely spoil both so allow them room to be free and breathe!
Kohlrabi is robust and will keep well in your fridge for a few weeks, longer if stored in a sealed, perforated bag. A quick tip - if you're planning on storing your kohlrabi for any length of time in the fridge remove the leaves as they will leach moisture from the root. And give the leaves a sauté!
It might take some reorganising of habitual patterns but a good way to avoid wastage would be to create a ‘use it up’ shelf to prioritise eating veg which typically gets lost in the outer reaches of your refrigerator - I know mine could do with one! A cooler fridge temp could also help prolong veg life, lots of us have ours too high so it seems. Take a look at this article, part of Wrap’s love food hate waste campaign for more info. Lots of summer vegetables are also freezer friendly - have a look at a useful veggie-table compiled by our friends at Growing Communities.
If you have any other tips on best veg storage practice then please get in touch and we’ll add to this guide. Thanks!
Kieran Mullens, Lee Greens newsletter editor