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Wash vegetables before roasting?

I have a nice-looking bunch of broccoli that I want to roast. It looks pretty clean, and I'll be subjecting it to 425-degree heat. Do I still need to wash it? Sure, washing isn't that hard -- it's the DRYING that's a pain. Roasting broccoli requires the vegetable to be really dry to get a proper caramelization, but you can't really pat it dry without somehow getting into every little sprout crevice, and I might not want to wait for hours for it to air dry.

So, do I reeeeeeeally need to wash this broccoli if I'm going to punish it with high temperatures and presumably kill all the bad stuff? What do you think? AND would your answer be different if said broccoli was organic?

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  1. Yeah, you need to wash it -- you need to remove the sand/dirt and whatever airborne *whatever* has settled on it.

    Bacteria isn't my concern -- it's the sand and any hitchikng bugs.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunshine842

      Ditto. The grit can break a tooth! If you have a salad spinner that would help dry it. If not wrap in a kitchen towel or several paper towels and dab firmly. You definately want to wash & dry.

    2. Yes, either way you need to wash off the sand and dirt and fertilizers and dead bugs and various nasty pesticides.

      If organic, it will still need to be washed. Most organic produce that I buy is actually dirtier than supermarket produce because it is less processed.

      1. Agree with other responses, you def. want to wash it. Personally I've never had a problem with caramalization, but I often wash in the morning and let drain all day.

        1. Yes, always wash fresh fruit and veg that don't have a removable peel. Some of the ones with a peel even warrant washing. Having worked in a grocery, trust me, it's worth the trouble. You just never really know where it's been in transport. This is not to strike fear into the hearts of the germ phobic, because most won't have been walked on, dropped on the floor, etc. but common sense and basic hygiene are good observances. The possible grit in the florets alone would have me washing broccoli.

          1. I';ve never washed broccoli, nor noticed any grit or wildlife on it.

            10 Replies
              1. re: ospreycove

                Generally, I don't wash veggies before roasting, so that caramelization is optimized, but based on that list, I will now scrub them... while wearing a hazmat suit.

                1. re: ospreycove

                  I wonder how many of those are water soluble.

                  1. re: MGZ

                    Good question... an even better one is: How many are heat-soluble? In starting this thread, I was most interested in what chemicals and bacteria could survive a 425-degree oven.

                    1. re: montyque

                      Actually, upon reflection it would seem that if they are water soluble they will have been absorbed into the plant. If they are not, rinsing the vegetable isn't going to do any good. Guess we're eating them either way.

                  2. re: ospreycove

                    The question is, how much of that can be washed away and how much is inside the broccoli flesh?

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      Yep. That's what I've been wondering.

                      1. re: MGZ

                        FWIW, I do wash my vegetables before roasting but was just wondering

                  3. re: greygarious

                    Oh I have. I once put a head of broccoli into a colander set into a bowl then ran water over the broccoli. About a million tiny black bugs floated to the surface. Even when I drained the bowl and added salt to fresh water, several times... I could not get rid of them. This was a store bought head of broccoil.