Storage temperature

Most vegetables will only keep for a couple of days in the bottom drawer in the refrigerator. The best way to store them is in an open plastic or paper bag. Not all vegetables will keep equally long! Spinach will keep for only 1 to 2 days, whereas red cabbage will last 1 to 2 weeks. Once you have cut the vegetables you need to use them the same day. Cucumber, aubergine, courgette, tomato and peppers are vegetables that originally came from warmer climes, so they just need to be stored in a cool place, such as the store cupboard, not in the fridge!

You can check for freshness when you are buying your vegetables. Tomatoes should be firm and shiny. The same applies to cucumbers, peppers and courgettes. Aubergines should have a smooth, unblemished skin, with a fresh green stalk. Press gently with your fingers; if the skin gives slightly, it is nice and ripe. Fresh cauliflower and broccoli will have a firm structure and a nice even colour. If cauliflower or broccoli looks woolly, it is already blooming. This means it will taste very bitter, so it's best to leave it!

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