Don’t let gritty salads put a damper on your grocery haul. Whether it’s a quick brush, long soak or good old-fashion scrub down, we’ve got tips for keeping your vegetable bounty sparkling clean — so that dirt, bacteria and pesky stowaway bugs don’t creep their way into your bowl.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
The natural nooks and crevices in broccoli and cauliflower are the perfect hiding spot for dirt, germs and even little bugs. Get your cruciferous veggies squeaky clean by filling a sink with cold water and then soaking them for a few minutes. Then, gently lift them out of the water, place in a colander and rinse again under a stream of more cold water. Looking for some great cauli recipes to try? Give this fiery Korean Gochujang Cauliflower Popcorn a try.
Take special care when cleaning these leafy gems; their tight tiny leaves are perfect for hiding little critters and the smallest traces of dirt. Get them ready for your plate by placing the sprouts in a bowl filled with warm water and let them soak for about 10 minutes — this will flush out the dirt and any lurking pests. Give these crispy air fryer parmesan Brussels sprouts a go, once you do.
The long stalks of green onions can become little tubes of dirt. Get them clean by removing any wilted or discoloured bits and then rinse them under cold running water, being careful to fill and drain the stalks, where most of the grit lives. Looking for ideas that use green onions as an ingredient? Try this epic Karaage chicken and green onion waffles recipe that is sweet, spicy and savoury.
If you’re ordering a mountain of mushrooms from your local grocery store or farm, there’s always a visible amount of dirt hanging around the surface. Resist the urge to dunk them in a sink full of water and instead, use a clean, moist dishtowel or mushroom brush to gently remove the dirt, only rinsing very quickly under running water if you’ve got a really gritty one. Otherwise, the highly-absorbent vegetable will sponge up water and you’ll end up with soggy ‘shrooms. PS: We declare morel mushrooms the “it” spring veggie. Here’s recipe proof.
The thick, waxy skin on peppers means they need a little extra attention when cleaning. To lift some of that oily residue, run them under cold water and follow through by giving them a good scrub with the rough side of a clean sponge or brush.
Just because you’re peeling your carrots and potatoes, doesn’t mean they don’t need a bath — like a serious Turkish-style, scrub-down clean. A proper soak in cold water and then a healthy buffing will help release any dirt clinging to the rough skins. Want a delicious and quick home-made snack? You’ll love these air fryer potato chips.
Your salad should be crunchy, but not because of dirt. To make sure you don’t commit the ultimate salad-killing sin, soak leafy greens in a bowl of cold water for two minutes before rinsing them under cold running water to remove any trapped dirt or germs.
Inside the layers of leeks lays a surprising amount of trapped dirt. To get rid of it, slice the leeks in half lengthwise and then soak them in a sink or pot filled with cold water. Then, rinse again under cold water, gently lifting the layers to ensure all the dirt is removed. As for what to do with all those leeks? Try this mini potato and leek galette recipe.