22 Jun Tips for Buying Fresh Peaches

  • Buy ripe or nearly ripe peaches. If they’re very hard, they are likely picked green and won’t develop the right taste or texture.
  • When you get home, inspect each piece of fruit. A split or bruise means the peach will go bad quickly and ruin any peach it touches. Eat or preserve these right away.
  • Peaches can be stored touching other peaches, but they shouldn’t touch other types of fruit.
  • While peaches can keep on the counter for a few days, buy only as many as you can eat (or preserve).
  • To prolong freshness, you can store peaches in the crisper, but only for a few days. Just put them directly in the crisper. Don’t put them in a bag.
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22 Jun Farmers’ Market Pasta Salad


  • 2 cups Halved Baby Heirloom Tomatoes
  • 2 small Zucchini, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 small Red Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup Fresh Corn Kernels
  • 1 cup Diced Firm, Ripe Fresh Peaches (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced Green Onions
  • 1 (8-oz.) package Penne Pasta*
  • 2 cups Shredded Smoked Chicken (about 10 oz.)


  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼  cup chopped Fresh basil
  • ¼  cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


1.  Toss together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, and let stand 10 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Add hot cooked pasta and chicken to tomato mixture; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter.  *1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini may be substituted

Cook the pasta al dente (1 or 2 minutes shorter than package directions specify) so it holds its shape when tossed with the vegetables and vinaigrette.

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22 Jun Gazpacho

This is a great way to enjoy the bounty of summer. You can be very flexible with this recipe using radishes, bell pepper, etc. Gazpacho gets better with time, so it’s best to let it sit for a day.


  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes – you can add up to five cups
  • 1 cup chopped red onions or yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped green, red and/or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped English cucumber, seeded or use pickling cucumbers from the farmers market and do not seed them
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled, quartered and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • A few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups tomato juice, low sodium- just enough to cover the tomatoes and veggies
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme and some chopped parsley
  • A splash of extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar and freshly chopped herbs- fresh basil and chives when serving…while this is optional, the sherry vinegar makes this soup extra special!


1.  Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl or other container and stir until combined. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight so the flavors meld.

2.  The next day, remove the thyme stems and leave the thyme and puree all the ingredients in a blender until the gazpacho is smooth, or almost smooth—keep just a little texture in it.

Refrigerate the gazpacho until ready to serve. Serve with a little extra virgin olive oil, a splash of sherry vinegar and some fresh herbs for a perfect combination of flavors.

You can also top the gazpacho with boiled shrimp, diced avocado, lump crab meat, chopped tomatoes, a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream and even croutons for additional texture and color.

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08 Jun Tips for Buying Fresh Squash (Summer)

Summer squash includes those varieties which are harvested while still immature and when the entire squash is tender and edible. They include the yellow Crookneck, the large Straight neck, the greenish-white Patty Pan, and the slender green Zucchini. Some of these squash are available at all times of the year.

Look for squash that are tender and well developed, firm, and fresh-appearing. You can identify a tender squash, because the skin is glossy instead of dull, and it is neither hard nor tough. Avoid stale or over mature squash, which will have a dull appearance and a hard, tough surface. Such squash usually have enlarged seeds and dry, stringy flesh. Also avoid squash with discolored or pitted areas.

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08 Jun Tips for Buying Fresh Peas

Garden peas are generally available from spring through the beginning of winter. When purchasing garden peas, look for ones whose pods are firm, velvety, and smooth. Their color should be a medium green. Those whose green color is especially light or dark, or those that are yellow, whitish or are speckled with gray, should be avoided. Additionally, do not choose pods that are puffy, water soaked or have mildew residue. The pods should contain peas of sufficient number and size that there is not much empty room in the pod. You can tell this by gently shaking the pod and noticing whether there is a slight rattling sound.

Peas taste best when cooked as soon as possible after picking or purchasing.

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08 Jun Tips for Buying Fresh Onions

When buying onions, choose those that are heavy for their size with dry, papery skins, and that show no signs of spotting or moistness. Avoid onions that are soft or sprouting. Young onions are sweeter than old ones. They should have absolutely NO SMELL whatever. If they do, they are probably bruised somewhere under the skin and are on their way out.

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01 Jun Tips for Buying Fresh Green or String Beans

Green beans are available year round, with a peak season of May to October. Green beans are also called string beans and snap beans. Green beans were once called string beans. Today they are string less; just break off the end as you wash them. Leave whole or cut into desired lengths. Choose slender beans that are crisp, bright-colored, and free of blemishes.

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01 Jun Tips for Buying Fresh Carrots

When purchasing carrots, look for firm, plump carrots without rootlets. They should be small, bright orange and smooth, without cracks. Buy carrots in bunches, with their leafy green tops still attached. Carrots lose moisture through their leafy green tops, so if you purchase them this way, remove the tops before wrapping carrots in plastic and storing. Instead of throwing away the tops, which are full of nutrition, try adding them to soups or chopping them and adding to your salads.

Storing fresh carrots: Carrots keep will for weeks in the refrigerator, although you will sacrifice sweetness and flavor if stored too long.

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01 Jun Tips for Buying Fresh Beets

Many beets are sold in bunches with the tops still attached, while others are sold with the tops removed. Look for beets that are firm, round, with a slender tap root (the large main root), a rich, color, and smooth over most of the surface. If beets are bunched, you can judge their freshness fairly accurately by the condition of the tops. Badly wilted or decayed tops indicate a lack of freshness, but the roots may be satisfactory if they are firm.

Avoid elongated beets with round, scaly areas around the top surface — these will be tough, fibrous, and strong-flavored. Also avoid wilted, flabby beets — they have been exposed to the air too long.

As the beet greens are very nutritious, cook them as you would fresh spinach leaves.

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25 May Tips for Buying Fresh Tomatoes

  • Look- Don’t worry about tomatoes with weird shapes. Even cracked skin is okay, but leaking juice and soft spots are not.
  • Feel -Choose tomatoes that feel heavy for their size.
  • Smell -Tomatoes should smell earthy and tomato-y, never musty or flat

But above all never refrigerate tomatoes. Refrigeration will actually dull tomatoes’ flavor. Exposing a tomato to below 50 degrees may not allow sugars and acids to fully develop. Storing them at room temperature is ideal.

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