on how to use fruit and vegetables
Select a letter below if you are looking for
a particular fruit or vegetable, or just scroll through the list.
A C G
H L M O
If youre not peeling them, then
wash them thoroughly. If you peel them and are serving them raw, e.g.
in a fruit salad, or on muesli, squeeze some lemon juice over them
to stop them going brown.
Is expensive out of season, but a real
treat in season. Dont overcook it though. It only needs to be
gently simmered or steamed for about ten minutes, or it becomes droopy!
Serve with melted butter and black pepper for a starter or as an accompaniment
to a meal.
Buy them a few days in advance, or make sure
it gives slightly as you press it then its ripe for that day.
To remove the stone, slice in half from top to bottom, twist and separate,
then gently pierce the stone with a sharp knife (watch your fingers
it is slippery) and lever it out. Needs to be dipped in lemon
juice unless youre using it immediately or it will go
brown. A great addition to salad, or as a starter served with vinaigrette
and black pepper, or with prawns with mayonnaise, with a quarter of
Trim off outer leaves. Tear or shred
other leaves and wash thoroughly in cold water. Bring to the boil
in just enough water to cover it with a little salt added, then simmer
for about 10 minutes, or longer if you like it soggy! Serve with a
little butter and black pepper.
Peel, chop a little off the top and bottom,
then slice, chop, or cut into batons. Serve raw in salads, or as cruditees
for dips. To cook - bring to the boil in just enough water to cover
it, with a little salt added, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Simmer
for a little longer if you want to mash them, drain off the water,
add a little butter and pepper and mash.
Remove brown outer leaves; leave any
good green ones in place. Remove the base of the stalk. Either break
or cut into small trees. Can be served raw for dips, or
to cook bring to the boil in enough salted water to cover the
cauliflower, simmer for about 15 minutes. Drain well. Serve as it
is as an accompaniment, or add cheese sauce, and brown it in the oven.
This makes a great leftover snack with toast.
Remove stalk and cut chillies in half
down their length. Remove seeds and discard unless you want more heat
in your food, then finely chop the rind and use as per the recipe.
WASH YOUR HANDS after youve done this, DONT RUB YOUR EYES,
and in particular men dont nip off for a quick pee unless
youve washed your hands - agony!
Corn on the cob
Remove outer leaves and threads.
Cut off stem, boil in lightly salted water for about 10 minutes. Serve
with butter and black pepper as a starter or as an accompaniment to
barbecues in the summer.
A mini-marrow best used when it is between
10 and 15 centimetres long. They don't need to be peeled, but just
top and tail, then wipe over with a damp cloth. Best fried in a little
olive oil, but can be a little bland on their own. Add peppers, or
tomatoes or aubergines or make ratatouille.
Keep a bulb of garlic in stock, and peel
off a clove as you need it. Chop off the top and bottom, then peel,
and either press or chop finely depending on how you want to use it.
You can add raw chopped garlic with parsley to a dressing of olive
oil and wine vinegar for an extra bite to your salads.
Dont forget to chew fresh parsley after youve eaten garlic
to ease the effects of your breath the next day!
Fresh herbs can be snipped with scissors
over a bowl before use to maximise taste. Try adding fresh parsley
to an omelette as it cooks delicious flavour. Add chopped fresh
herbs immediately before serving a dish e.g. fresh basil onto an Italian
meat sauce, fresh coriander onto a Thai dish, fresh parsley or other
herbs to a salad.
Full of sand and dirt, so chop of the
tops and the bottom roots, chop, put in a colander and rinse well
with cold water. Bring to the boil in lightly salted water; simmer
for about 10 minutes until tender. Can be served with a cheese sauce
for a snack, or as an accompaniment.
Zest is the outer yellow part of the
lemon; pith is the white bit surrounding the fruit. To get more juice
from a lemon, place in hot water for a few minutes before you halve
it and squeeze it.
As lemons, and can be substituted for
lemons in recipes, but produce a slightly stronger flavour. Limes
are delicious squeezed over cucumber with salt for a simple salad
dish. The lime is an important ingredient in Thai cooking where it
produces a distinctive flavour.
Cut off the base of the stalk and remove
any slightly brown leaves. Tear the leaves into a colander and wash
well in cold water. Allow the leaves to dry a bit before using in
a salad, otherwise the dressing wont stick to it. Only add any
dressing immediately before you serve it. Add fresh chopped herbs
to your salad for a more exotic flavour.
Wipe with a piece of kitchen paper or
clean damp cloth. Dont wash them as they absorb water easily
and may affect the outcome of your recipe.
Cut off the top and bottom, remove skin.
Leave to stand for a few minutes and then chop or slice depending
on what you require. Red onions are delicious sliced into a salad.
Add a little gently fried onion to a cheese sauce for added flavour.
French onion soup is a must! Spring Onions (also known as scallions)
are used for salads and Chinese Stir-Fry dishes.
Wash, cut in half, remove stalk and seeds,
then chop or slice. Red, orange, or yellow can be eaten raw in salads,
but the green is usually better cooked as part of a Chinese Stir-Fry,
and can even be added to an Italian-style meat sauce.
Peel potatoes before chopping and bringing
to the boil in lightly salted water. Cook for about 20 minutes depending
on the size of the pieces. Serve. Or mash with a little milk and butter.
Baking potatoes are usually good for making mashed potatoes
and will reheat the next day without affecting the taste. Baked potatoes
need to be pierced with a fork or sharp tip of a knife before putting
into a pre-heated oven (180C Gas Mark 4) for about an hour
again depending on the size. If youre in a rush, pierce the
potato skin then put it in the microwave for about 8 minutes
check if it is cooked, size is important!! A good combination
is to put a pierced potato in the microwave first for about 5 minutes,
then put it in a hot oven to crisp up the skin for about 20 minutes.
To serve a baked potato make a cross with a knife, squeeze sides of
the potato to expose some of the fluffy potato, add butter and parsley
if you have it.
Wash and quarter or slice for salads.
If it appeals to you, you could make a quick tomato and onion salad.
Sprinkle finely chopped onion onto a plate of sliced tomato and dress
with vinaigrette, salt and pepper and herbs. If you need to peel tomatoes
for a recipe, then dip them in boiling water for a minute, then peel
them in cold water. This will make it easier for the skin to come