Refrigerate Which Veggies?
I have been debating forever about whether or not to refrigerate certain vegetables, specifically tomatoes, cucumbers and mushrooms. I'm also curious about parsley and lemons. Any insight in how to store any fresh veg would be helpful of course.
Thanks, I know you guys will know for sure!
I refrigerate all of those on your list. Tomatoes and lemons only after they've been cut. For most vegetables, the best place to store them is in the crisper. I wrap parsley in paper towels, then in a plastic bag, and put them in the crisper. Mushrooms get store in my refrigerated section, not the crisper. I cover them loosely with plastic wrap to keep them moist. Store in a paper bag or exposed dries them out. Cucumbers go to the crisper. Eventhough I do sometimes store tomatoes in the fridge, I prefer to leave them in the open with my other fruit on the counter. I have a nice large open weave bowl shaped container that holds a good supply of fruit and the tomatoes get used quite soon after purchasing so they hold well under those conditions.
Tomatoes: oh hell no
Mushrooms: yes, in a paper or breathable plastic bag (the crinkly kind with a grid of small holes: mushrooms get slimy in regular plastic bags)
Parsley: yes, wrapped in a lightly damp paper towel in an open ziploc
Lemons: depends how long you're planning on having them around. If you're going to use them within a week or so of purchase, just keep 'em in a bowl on the counter. Longer-term storage, refrigerate.
I heard somewhere that tomatoes loose flavor in the fridge, so if I have really good tomatoes from a market, I normally leave them exposed on the counter (although not in plastic bags or they will mold). I think they last fairly long this way. I am curious if others have heard the same...
Any time I buy fancy mushrooms from my local mushroom growers or a gourmet shop , they put the mushrooms in a paper bag. I was told that they are best stored this way in the fridge. I want my mushrooms dry...not moist; moisture is the enemy of mushrooms.
Lemons seem to last longer in the fridge, but can easily last a week or more on the counter. Sometimes, if I have an excess of citrus I keep it in a bag outside on our balcony; last year a bag of meyer lemons I got from a friend lasted a month or two out there.
I am still undecided on the best way to store herbs and cucumbers myself... nothing I've tried has made much of a difference, so I am anxious to see what others say.
Not tomatoes. They go pasty and mealy. If you have already cut or chopped them, go ahead, but use them quickly and don't expect much from them. Lemons love the fridge. Other than that, I agree with everything everyone else says. Oh, and the parsley can be treated like cut flowers - placed in a little water upright in the fridge.
I don't refrigerate good tomatoes, ever. If it's a big one and I can't use it all at once, I will set it cut side down on a small plate and stash it in the cupboard until the next day.