I am often asked how best to store vegetables from your weekly csa baskets in your fridges – the short answer is to make sure there is as little water as possible on your leafy greens and to stock up on glass or plastic containers for all your vegetables.
For your leafy greens (lettuces, kales and tutti quanti ), the trick is to remove all excess water as soon as you get home and to store them in a hermetically sealed container – they’ll last the week. Obviously, not all lettuces are created equal, some are more fragile – and therefore more perishable – than others.
Next are your root vegetables : carrots and beets, followed by ‘bulb’ vegetables like fennel and kohlrabi, or ‘fruit’ vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli. All of these should be stored in containers to protect them from the dessicating effects of the modern refrigerator.
Truth be told, nothing stored in a fridge should be left uncovered. I have become increasingly skeptical of the so-called vegetable « crisper » drawers one finds in most fridges. While they may protect well-wrapped vegetables, they’re a bit pointless, frankly.
Herbs remain an enigma for which there is no simple rule-of-thumb. Some fare quite well in the recesses of a fridge, especially if one has taken care to remove all excess water – parsley, sage, thyme, etc. – while others – basil and coriander, to name but two – hate the fridge cold-wet combo. In the latter case, the only advice I can give is to eat them faster.
Finally, please note that some vegetables (like tomatoes and garlic) should never, ever, ever go in the fridge. Speaking of which: we harvested this year’s garlic a couple of weeks ago. It was a bountiful harvest that is currently laid out to dry in our big red barn, waiting to be cleaned and prepped for your baskets.
In coming days we’ll let you know the process for placing your conservation garlic orders.
There are more of you wanting garlic every year, we’ll do our best to organize what is becoming something of a tradition.
We look forward to seeing you all again.