POSTED Friday, August 10, 2012
As much as we tear through produce this time of year, there’s invariably something that gets left behind in the fridge, a victim of farmers’ market overenthusiasm. Fortunately, there’s an antidote: a dip in a vinegar-spiked ice bath.
On a recent evening, summer squash, parsley and lettuce lay wilted and wimpy in the fridge. We filled a big bowl with water, ice and a tablespoon of vinegar (red wine was closest at hand), then dropped in the sliced squash and leaves in for a 10-minute shock. We’d long heard that vinegar helped prolong the life of lettuce, and have watched serious sushi chefs shock delicate fish in ice water to firm the flesh. But we hadn’t tried it at home--or with vegetables.
It worked: They emerged refreshed, the lettuce and parsley ready to be tossed into salad, the squash slivers primed to become sesame-coated “noodles.”
From the looks of our vegetable drawer, we’ll be applying the technique to some wimpy looking kale, green peppers and dill in the near future.