How to best store vegetables
The following vegetables are resistant to cold temperatures and can be kept in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator: artichokes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, endives, cauliflower, onions, spring onions, aromatic herbs, green beans, peas, cabbage, sweetcorn, carrots, leeks, radishes, beetroot, asparagus, spinach, lettuce and celery.
The following delicate vegetables should be kept not in the fridge but preferably in a dark, cool place at a temperature of +/- 18 °C: aubergines, basil, potatoes, ginger, garlic, gherkins, marrows, sweet peppers, red peppers, tomatoes and courgettes.
Tomatoes should ideally be kept in a larder, in a cool place and away from light.
If kept at too low a temperature, tomatoes may lose their flavour somewhat. They should preferably be stored in a dry place at a temperature of between 13 and 18 °C. Moreover, tomatoes need oxygen, and it is better to keep them in the open air rather than in bags or cartons. Given that tomatoes give off a particularly high amount of ethylene, it’s better to store them separately from other varieties of fruit and vegetables.
Carrots should be kept in the vegetable drawer at the bottom of the refrigerator.
They should be removed from their packet and placed in the vegetable compartment. Try not to store them together with tomatoes, pears or ripe apples, otherwise they may become bitter. In order that your carrots should keep for longer, you should preferably buy them unwashed and keep them like that in a basement.
Potatoes should ideally be kept in a larder.
Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place, but not in the refrigerator. They will keep for longer if you buy them unwashed (that is to say, without the earth attaching to them having been removed). Try not to place your potatoes next to fruit, and especially not alongside apples, pears or bananas. Many fruits give off ethylene, a ripening gas which makes potatoes rot more quickly. However, it’s a good idea to place an apple near to a bag of potatoes, since a mild concentration of ethylene in the air inhibits cell growth in potatoes, thereby slowing their germination.
Lettuce should be kept in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator (lower drawer).
Lettuce wilts quickly, rapidly losing a great many of its nutrients. To keep lettuce fresh, you can wash it and place it on a piece of paper towel in an airtight container. Try not to keep lettuce – especially if it has already been washed – together with fruits or vegetables that produce ethylene (for example tomatoes, apples and bananas).
A useful tip: if your lettuce or vegetables (e.g. carrots or radishes) are already a bit old and somewhat shrivelled, let them soak in cold water for an hour. This will freshen them up!