Sensational Spring Produce

Published on 08 November 2018

Tomatoes

One of my all-time favourites is the tomato. So very versatile and so good for you. Tomatoes cross into so many cuisines and cultures, from Italian tomato sauce used on pasta or pizza, a fresh Mexican salsa, or in an Indian or Asian curry.

Tomatoes are also used in lots of classic dishes, from tomato soup, a BLT sandwich, tomato bruschetta or simply sliced and salted on toasted buttered crusty bread.

When buying tomatoes always look for plump tomatoes without bruises or blemishes. They should be firm with an earthy smell and heavy for their size as ripe tomatoes will have a higher water content.

Store tomatoes at room temperature for up to a week. If they need further ripening place them overnight in a paper bag with an apple or banana. This will quicken the ripening process. You should always wash tomatoes before using.

Zucchini

The most common and readily available zucchini are the straight, slim and dark green (or yellow) skinned variety. Another common variety are Lebanese zucchini, which are slightly shorter, fatter and have a speckled green and white skin. Both are similar in taste and texture.

Choose shiny, firm, vibrant zucchini that are free from spots, bruises or blemishes. Store zucchini in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to one week. Wash zucchini just before use as they will absorb any excess water.

Leafy greens

When buying leafy greens look for crisp leaves with no markings, discolouration, wilted leaves, blemishes or oxidization, particularly around the outer leaves.

To store, separate leaves, removing and discarding the core (if there is one). Place the leaves in a sink or bowl of slightly salted cold water. Wash the leaves to remove any dirt, then gently shake to remove any excess water. Using paper towel or a salad spinner, remove all traces of moisture before storing. Store leaves in a clean, dry, airtight bag and in the refrigerator for up to one week.