Friday, June 20, 2008

How on Earth Do I Wash all these Greens?

The rich, loamy soil of Columbia County nourishes some of the best produce in the eastern United States, and a great many of us are becoming personally acquainted with this miraculous dirt. We appreciate it, of course, but at some point we need to wash it off.

Washing greens is not as difficult as it seems. Fill your sink or a large pot with cool water, submerge greens and swoosh them around with your hands. Lift the vegetables out of the water. Do not pour them through a strainer, or you will merely deposit the sand and bugs you just washed off back on the greens. Repeat once or twice as needed.
When I bring home a big CSA pickup full of sandy greens, I set up a whole assembly line of a few pots, then a colander, and finally the spinner. Briefly: first bunch of greens into first vessel, swish swish; first bunch of greens into second vessel, second bunch of greens into first vessel, and so on. Dry your greens in a spinner, pat them with clean towels, and refrigerate. You can place a square of paper towel in the bags with the greens to absorb excess moisture and keep them fresh longer

De-bugging one’s vegetables is a challenge in any kosher kitchen, and a number of home cooks are reasonably concerned that using organic produce might expose us to more insects and a more difficult examination process. In fact, the opposite is true. According to mashgikhim with extensive bug-checking experience, non-organic greens are not in fact less infested than organic greens; they are merely infested with smaller, more tenacious predators that have become resistant to the toxins. The good news for those who keep kosher, or are vegetarian, or simply want to limit their consumption of insects because of the gross-out factor, is that organic vegetables, along with all their other virtues, provide the safest and easiest way to eat bug-free. Wash your vegetables, examine them, and enjoy in good health.


Blogger kosher kook said...

First time blogger on this site. I look forward to participating.

Didn't realize that organic food would have less bugs. I also use the dip method to wash greens but I remove the core end first. This allows the water to get inside where all those little critters are hiding. There is also a product from the people that make the "Kosher Lamp" that is a light box for inspecting greens. It really makes the job easy.

11:47 AM  
Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...

kosher kook,

yes, I did mean to imply that the leaves get separated first--I did not make that clear--will fix the post.

12:47 PM  
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