Tuesday, January 15, 2008



Available sporadically all year; peak March to June. Look for firm, straight spears with closed, tightly budded, compact tips. The stalk should be crisp, not wilted. Buy spears of uniform size to ensure even cooking. Avoid woody, dry stems. To help retain moisture, stand cut ends in an inch of water or wrap ends in a moist paper towel or cloth; place in a plastic bag, making sure tips stay dry. Refrigerate up to 5 days.

Available all year; peak October to April. Look for tightly closed, compact, dark green to purplish-green flowerets on tender, firm stalks. Avoid those with yellow flowers, wilted leaves or thick, tough stems. Refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 4 days.


Available October to March. Look for tight, vivid green heads with unblemished, compact leaves. Avoid those who loose leaves and any signs of yellowing. Refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 5 days. Use as soon as possible since flavor gets stronger with age.

Available all year. Look for firm, smooth, well-shaped carrots with a deep orange color. Avoid those that are flabby, soft, cracked, shriveled or show signs of mold. If leaves are attached, they should look fresh. To store, cut off leaves and refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 2 weeks. Apples produce a gas that cause a bitter flavor in carrots; therefore, store separately. Wilted carrots still have flavor and vitamin A, which makes them good for soup, stews, stocks and purees.
Available May to September. Look for fresh, moist, green husks, cob should be well filled with bright, plump, milky kernels that pop easily when pressed with a fingernail. Kernels should be tightly packed together in even rows. Refrigerate immediately in husks; if shucked, store in plastic bags up to 2 days. Use as soon as possible since the sugar in a corn begins to turn to starch as soon as it is picked.

Available all year; peak August and September. Look for firm eggplants with smooth skin and a uniform color. Avoid those that are soft, shriveled or have cuts or scars. Usually, the smaller the eggplant is the sweeter and more tender it is. Eggplants bruise easily. Handle gently and store at room temperature up to 2 days. Or refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 4 days. Use as soon as possible since eggplant become bitter with age.

Available all year for most fresh and dried varieties; some exotics peak in fall or spring. Look for firm, fleshy mushrooms with no discoloration or bruised. Avoid limp or dehydrated specimens; button mushroom should not have gills showing. Refrigerate, unwashed, in a paper bag, ventilated package or plastic bag punched with holes up to 5 days. If damp, wrap mushrooms in paper towels before storing. Use as soon as possible for the best flavor.
you can get more information about vegetables and tips at Pick Vegetables