How to Store Vegetables Correctly

Artichokes (Globe)

Artichokes do not keep well and should ideally be used at once; however, if you must store them, place their stalks in water.

Artichokes (Jerusalem)

Keep in a cool, dark place for up to a week.

Avocados

Avocados may be ripened in a paper bag at room temperature for a couple of days. It is important not to store them in the fridge, as they will turn black.

Bean Sprouts

Keep sprouts in a plastic bag or box in the refrigerator until ready for use.

Beetroot

Raw beetroot may be kept in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight for 3-4 days. Once cooked, it should be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Cabbage

The firmer the cabbage, the longer it will keep. White and red cabbages can be kept in a cool place for at least a week, whereas Savoys can only be stored for a few days.

Carrots

Carrots may either be stored in a cool, airy place to preserve crispness, or in the vegetable compartment of the fridge. If storing in the refrigerator, make sure you remove them from their plastic wrapping.

Celeriac

Celeriac may be stored in a cool, airy place for a few weeks. It may also be diced and blanched for 4 minutes, before freezing for use in casseroles.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers can be stored in the fridge for about a week at most; however, as they do not like very low temperatures, avoid placing them in the coldest part of the fridge.

Fennel

Fennel will keep crisp in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Garlic

Garlic keeps well in a dry, airy place - if there is too much moisture in the air, it will eventually start to sprout.

When the cloves have been removed from the bulb, they can be kept for about a week; however, if frozen, they can be stored for several months.

Leeks

Leeks are best stored wrapped in a plastic bag to prevent their strong odour from flavouring other foods. They may be kept in the bottom of the fridge or in a cool, dark place for up to 1 week.

Lettuce

Keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag. This will prevent the evaporation of moisture from the leaves.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms do not store well, and it is usually better to buy them little and often. Button or closed mushrooms will become open cups even if stored in the refrigerator, and their flesh soon starts to shrivel. Keep them in brown paper bags to limit evaporation.

Olives

Olives can be stored in the fridge, or better still, in the larder in a jar of olive oil or in a mixture of oil, vinegar and water.

Onions

Store in a dark, cool, airy place.

Parsnips

Store parsnips in a cool place, such as an airy larder or the crisper compartment of the fridge for up to 10 days.

Peppers

Keep refrigerated after purchase; bring to room temperature before use.

Potatoes

New potatoes do not keep particularly well, losing their flavour after only a few days. Buy them in small quantities and keep them in a cool, dark place. Old potatoes are more robust, and may be stored in a cool, dark, dry place for months. Avoid storing them in their plastic bag, as this often makes them turn mouldy.

If potatoes are exposed to light they may start sprouting or turn green (which can be poisonous). Small amounts of green can be removed but very green potatoes should be discarded.

Sweetcorn (Corn on the Cob)

For maximum freshness and taste, eat the cobs as soon as possible after purchase. If necessary, they may be kept in a plastic bag in the fridge for about 3 days. However, it is important not pile the cobs on top of each other; if they do not have enough space around them, they will generate warmth and 'cook' the corn.

Watercress

Use as soon as possible after purchase, storing it meanwhile in the fridge in a plastic bag or in a cool place in water; for example, completely submerged in a bowl or placed in a jug like a bouquet of flowers.