How to Choose and Store the Best Summer Produce

Learn how to choose and store the best summer produce, plus ways to serve it

 

Summer Squash

Summer Squash

Randy Mayor/Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty Images

How to choose: Choose summer squash that is firm and unblemished with a bright yellow color.

How to store:
Summer squash can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to one week.

Recipes:

Pesto-Topped Grilled Summer Squash
Spinach, Squash, and Horseradish Bake

Bell Peppers

Bell Peppers

Robin MacDougall/Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty Images

How to choose: Regardless of the color, look for bell peppers that have firm, shiny wrinkle-free skin.

How to store: Bell peppers can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Recipes:
Baked Eggs with Tomatoes and Peppers
Red Pepper and Walnut Dip
Chicken with Cinnamon and Peppers

Collard Greens

Collard Greens

Jennifer Levy/FoodPix/Getty Images

How to choose: Choose collard greens that have smooth, green leaves. Avoid leaves with insect damage or tears.

How to store: Before storing, wash collard greens in lukewarm water to remove any dirt. Wrap the greens in a damp paper towel, place them in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Recipes:
Grits & Greens Casserole
Collard Green & Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Sang An/FoodPix/Getty Images

How to choose: Choose sweet potatoes that are dry and smooth with no cuts, bruises or signs of decay.

How to store: Do not store sweet potatoes in the refrigerator. Instead, keep them in a dry, cool place for up to one month. Wash them just before use.

Recipes:
Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes
Crispy Sweet Potato Latkes
Sweet Potato Biscuits

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Ross Durant Photography/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

How to choose: Look for cucumbers that are dark green in color and firm from end to end.

How to store:
Store cucumbers uncovered or in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Recipes:
Cucumber-Mint Martini
Mackerel with Cucumber Salad
Tzatziki

Corn

Corn

Rita Maas/FoodPix/Getty Images

How to choose: When shopping for corn, peel back the husks to look at the kernels. They should be tightly packed, plump and unblemished. Avoid corn that has dried out silk, which is a sign of age.

How to store: Store corn husked or unhusked in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Recipes:
Corn Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Avocado-Corn Salsa
Late Harvest Corn Pudding

Beets

Beets

DK/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

How to choose: Choose beets that have smooth, firm blemish-free skin.

How to store: Beets can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Beet greens will last for up to three days.

Recipes:
Oven-Baked Veggie Chips
Roasted Beet and Feta Salad

Zucchini

Zucchini

source copy

How to choose: Look for medium-sized zucchini, no bigger than six inches. The exterior should be firm and unblemished with a deep green hue.

How to store: Zucchini can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to one week.

Recipes:
Grilled Zucchini Dip with Flatbreads and Crackers
Bread-and-Butter Zucchini Pickles
Zucchini Sticks
Baked Zucchini with Parmesan

Green Beans

Green Beans

Getty Images

How to choose: Look for beans with a bright green color that have a nice snap to them. Try this handy trick: If you can tie the green bean in a knot, it's not fresh.

How to store: Keep green beans in plastic bags in the refrigerator for three to five days.

Recipes:
Green Beans with Gouda and Marcona Almonds
Lemon-Dill Green Beans
Green Beans with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Eggplant

Eggplant

Elizabeth Watt/FoodPix/Getty Images

How to choose: Look for an eggplant that feels heavy and firm. It should have smooth skin and no soft or brown spots.

How to store: Store eggplant in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Recipes:
Pasta with Eggplant Sauce
Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich
Roasted Eggplant Dip with Pine Nuts

Arugula

Arugula

Anthony-Masterson/Digital Vision/Getty Images

How to choose: Choose arugula with firm, bright green leaves. Avoid leaves that are yellow or torn. Look for arugula with the roots still intact, it will stay fresher longer.

How to store: Store arugula in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three days. If the arugula still has roots, wrap them in a damp paper towel.

Recipes:
Arugula Blackberry Salad with Shaved Fennel and Almonds
Steak and Arugula Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
Green Pizza

Okra

Okra

Koki Iino/Getty Images

How to choose: Choose okra with tender, bright green pods that are free of blemishes.

How to store: Okra can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Recipes:

Potato Salad with Green Onions and Pickled Okra
Chicken Gumbo
 

Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow http://t.co/wfewf

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web