For the first time in over 6 years I came across fresh brussel sprouts at the grocery store. I almost didn’t buy them because I still have a bit of a trauma from the boiled to death sprouts of my childhood. But I do love oven roasted brussel sprouts (or any other roast vegetable, for that matter), so I took advantage of this rare occasion and picked some up to have with dinner. And they were delicious!
Really delicious! But I’m going to be perfectly honest – prepping these particular brussel sprouts was a lot more work than I remember ever having to put in because I came across what I assume was insect residue in the outer leaves.
How to Clean Brussel Sprouts When You Keep Kosher
So, I keep kosher (which, for those of you not familiar with keeping kosher, boils down to ‘there’d better not be bugs in my veggies’), and this left me wondering whether I should just toss the lot and give up on the idea of ever eating brussel sprouts again.
Yes, brussel sprouts are kosher – they are just a vegetable. But because of their tiny size and closed structure, there are a range of positions on whether you can check brussel sprouts carefully enough for insects (which are not kosher). These range from a straight forward NO to a variety of suggestions on how thoroughly they need to be checked. After doing some googling, I decided to see how bad the situation really was and if I could save enough to be worth roasting.
TRIM & PEEL OFF THE OUTER LEAVES
First trim off the ‘stem’ (aim for about 1/2-1 cm), and then remove the outer leaves. I took off at least 4 or 5 layers (not just leaves, but full sets) of leaves, ensuring I had at least two clean layers of leaves in a row before I moved on to the next sprout (a few sprouts got tossed altogether). It was a bit disappointing because by the time I was through with them my sprouts were no longer the vivid green I’d first gotten excited about and more of a pale cabbage colour. But they were still a decent size, and I had a decent amount since I had bought two batches of sprouts, so there’s that.
QUARTER & INSPECT THE BRUSSEL SPROUTS
Next I quartered the sprouts and inspected each quarter to look for any signs of bugs, worms, or any black spots or other signs of damage, tossing anything that looked questionable.
SOAK IN WATER
I then tossed all of the quarters into a bowl of water and let them soak for 10 minutes before checking to make sure there were no bugs (or bug parts) floating in the water – thankfully there weren’t! Others may be stricter in how they clean their sprouts, but this was enough for me to feel ok going ahead with making them.
SIMPLE ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS
My sprouts had been whittled down to about half their size, but finally I was ready to do get these brussel sprouts in the oven. I’m a firm believer in keeping it simple with roast vegetables, so just tossed the brussel sprouts generously in olive oil and sprinkled them with sea salt before popping them in the oven.
Ready to roll up your sleeves and get roasting? Here’s the recipe for these oven-roasted brussel sprouts.
- 4 cups quartered brussel sprouts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional).
- Toss the brussel sprouts in the olive oil and salt, and spread out across the baking sheet.
- Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning the sprouts about half-way to let them brown lightly on all sides.
- Serve warm.