Mealy, Spongy, Cottony, and Flavorless

Is there any hope for worn-out winter produce? Real Simple makes a case for salvaging the produce aisle’s most unappetizing offerings. The February issue suggests roasting “mealy tomatoes” to improve their flavor, sautéing “spongy, bulbous zucchini” to bring out a creamier texture, and dousing “cottony, flavorless strawberries” with a fruity liqueur. Actually, doing a few shots while you’re at it might help these recipes go down even easier. I mean, you’ve got to give the writer some credit for nailing these nasty descriptions, but is improving poor produce really as simple as the magazine suggests?

This time of year, as much as I’m craving a fresh-picked farm-stand peach or a bowl of local baby greens, I’ll head to the canned foods aisle before I’ll attempt to revive a sad, greenish-orange tomato. And I think that Cascadian Farm’s frozen berries, which are free of sugary syrup, totally beat expensive, out-of-season fresh berries. (Try dropping a handful of their frozen raspberries and a few mint sprigs into a pitcher of water for a healthy drink that tastes like summer.)

Anyone else have a favorite frozen or canned product to get us through the rest of the winter? You could also try, you know, sticking to seasonal winter produce.

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