General Tips

* If your veggies start to wilt, refresh them by submerging them in cold water until they perk up, generally an hour or so.

* Remove twist ties.

* Freshly trim the ends of greens and herbs when you get them home.


Root Vegetables

Cutting the tops off of your root vegetables helps keep the roots crisp.  Leave 1” of stem on the roots.  Put the roots in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.  For root vegetable with edible leaves (turnips, radishes, beets), store the greens in a separate plastic bag in the crisper drawer.  Some people like to juice carrot tops; otherwise, compost them.


Bunched Leafy Greens

Store them in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. 

Kale & Collards: When I cook them, I cut the thick stalks out.  You can either save the stalks to make vegetable stock out of or compost them.

Swiss chard: The stems are edible too!  I generally cut the stems out of the greens and start cooking them first since they take longer.  Then I add the tender greens at the end of the cooking time.


Head Lettuce & Escarole

The salad spinner is your friend!  I recommend investing in an inexpensive one.  Chop your head lettuce, submerge it in the colander in the bowl of the salad spinner with enough cold water so that the lettuce floats, swish it around a bit, then pull the colander out of the water.  Dirt falls to the bottom of the bowl; dump it out.  Then spin the lettuce and store it right in the salad spinner in your fridge.  If you don’t have a salad spinner, wash your head of lettuce and store it in a plastic bag with a dry paper towel or tea towel inside to absorb excess moisture.  Store the bag in the crisper.


Loose Leafy Greens (salad mix, arugula, spinach)

See head lettuce tips above…


Heading Crops (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower)

Wash and store in a plastic bag in the crisper.


Berries (strawberries, raspberries)

DO NOT WASH until you’re ready to use them.  Store them in the refrigerator.



Store washed pea pods in a plastic bag in the crisper.  The sugar content of peas decreases rapidly in storage, so eat them soon!


Green Beans

Store UNWASHED beans in a plastic bag in the crisper.  Wash right before use.



Store fresh herbs in a jar of water on a shelf in your refrigerator.  Change out the water and freshly trim the ends every couple of days.  BASIL IS THE EXCEPTION.  Basil is very sensitive to cold.  Keep it in a jar of water, but DO NOT put it in the refrigerator.  Herbs are also easy to dry for future use.  Bunch them with a rubber band and hang upside down out of direct sunlight until dry.


Hot Crops (Cucumbers, Peppers, Eggplants, Zucchini, Tomatoes)

Do NOT store these crops in plastic bags unless the bags are perforated.

Cucumbers, Peppers, Eggplants, Zucchini: Best stored at 50-55 degrees, which means NOT in the refrigerator. If you don’t have a 50-degree location in your kitchen, put them on the top shelf of your fridge, which is the warmest location.

Tomatoes: The fridge will make your tomatoes mealy.  Store on your kitchen counter at room temperature (50-70 degrees F).


Leeks and Fresh Onions

Store unwashed in a plastic bag in the crisper.


Storage onions, shallots, garlic

Never store in a plastic bag.  I store mine in a paper bag in a cool, dry, dark cupboard (not the same cupboard as my potatoes).



Store potatoes in the dark, and do NOT wash them!  Exposure to light will cause them to turn green.  Green potatoes are not edible and eating enough of them will make you sick.  I store my unwashed potatoes in a paper bag under my kitchen sink or other dry, dark cupboard (not the same cupboard as my onions, shallots, and garlic). 


Winter squash

Store in a cool (50-60 degree F), dry location.  Keep individual squash from touching each other so that if one starts to go bad you won’t lose all of your squash.  Most winter squash will store for several months, with the exception of Acorn and spaghetti squash—they should be eaten within a month-and-a-half.