The Clever Reason Ina Garten Keeps Some Produce On Display In The Kitchen

Ina Garten isn't simply a great hostess. When it comes to sharing cooking hacks and assembling tasty recipes with ease, she has tricks up her sleeve to prepare delicious dishes with confidence and gusto. On the "Design Time" podcast, Garten reveals that she intentionally keeps bowls of fruit and other produce on her kitchen counter and makes sure to have fresh ingredients in close proximity to her cutting board. She uses the display as inspiration when making dishes and isn't afraid to follow the whims of spontaneous choices while making meals. 

"I might be working on a recipe and there's an orange there, and I go, 'You know what? I'm looking for something a little bitter in this. Maybe I'll try some orange,'" Garten shares on the podcast, admitting that as pretty as a colorful bowl of fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies might be, the decorative display has a function in a working kitchen. "I leave things out and it's not just decorative. It actually is purposeful," she explains.

Inspired by seasonal ingredients

Even when showing Oprah around her kitchen in the Hamptons, Garten explained that she would leave lemons, onions, and garlic on the counter for easy retrieval. "Not only are they easy to get to, but also, when I'm working, I often think, 'What would make this even better?' Chances are, one of those ingredients will do the trick, so it reminds me to use what's already there, rather than search for some crazy spice or herb," she told Oprah Daily

The next time you return home from the market with bags of groceries, consider leaving a few items out and in sight. With fresh vegetables and fruits waiting to be added to meals and snacks, seasonal ingredients can bring new flavors to your usual go-to dishes and recipes. Plus, you never know when inspiration might strike, leaving you with a more flavorful and creative dish to enjoy.