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Keeping Root Vegetable Greens Fresh

By Cook's Illustrated Published July 2016

Even though it doesn’t prolong their life, storing greens separately makes cleaning them easier.

Although the leafy green tops of beets, turnips, and radishes are sometimes removed at the store, we like to buy these vegetables with their greens still attached since they’re great for cooking. (Beet and turnip tops can be cooked like Swiss chard, while peppery radish tops can be cooked like mustard greens.) Some sources recommend removing the greens and storing them separately to extend their life. To test this, we stored samples of each of these vegetables. We left the tops attached to the roots on some, wrapping the bunches in paper towels and sealing them in zipper-lock bags. We refrigerated these alongside batches of greens and roots wrapped and bagged separately. In the end, both sets lasted about the same amount of time. That said, while separating the greens won’t extend their life, we’ll still do it simply because once they are removed from the root bulbs, it is much easier to sort through the greens to rid them of any beginning-to-rot leaves.

KEEP ’EM SEPARATED: Even though it doesn’t prolong their life, storing greens separately makes cleaning them easier.