It’s upsetting when the hideously priced greens you order online or pick up from your local vendor, begin to sulk. They wilt before you’ve even had a chance to carefully look at them. Here are smart cues to better the shelf life of vegetables.
The Leafy Lurch
It’s important to wash everything that comes from the market but that also makes vegetables prone to wilting faster. But there are ways of avoiding it.
“Remove stems, thoroughly wash the leaves under running water, then dry on paper towels. Once the moisture exits, place in an airtight container lined with a paper towel. This will sap away residual moisture if any. Refrigerate. Use, and put the container back in the fridge immediately to keep leaves fresh for a week,” says dietitian Sarika Nair of SlimNhappy.
Sometimes we tend to buy in surplus, like three bunches each, to do a spot of budget shopping. “Shelf life depends on the type of greens we buy too. For instance, mesclun perishes much quicker than amaranth leaves,” says Chef Rohan D’Souza, Culinary Director, Estella, Mumbai.
Fresh curry leaves smell divine and work their magic even when dried crisp. “Separate each leaf when you pick coriander,” says Nair. “Wash, dry, store when crisp in an airtight container. Do not refrigerate.” What about other leaves, like palak and methi, that wilt and droop in hours after you drag in the shopping bags? “Blanch spinach leaves for 30 seconds to a minute in hot water and dunk immediately in ice water. “Then squeeze- dry the leaves and put into a zip lock bag and freeze,” she adds.
If you don’t wish to freeze, then Chennai-based dietitian Deepalekha Bhattacharjee suggests storing them wrapped in a damp cloth.
Shilpi Madan for Sunday Standard