Micro-greens: a garnish for the gourmet

Micro greens are the latest craze to hit the chef world. The tiny, premature leaves pack a flavor punch more potent than any of their elders. Their looks don't hurt either; the array of brilliant colors, filament thin stems, and delicate leaves are enough to draw attention to any plate.

Add to these attractions the fact that micro-greens have managed to capture the attention of growing crowd of chefs focused on serving local fare, and it's easy to see they've made it, biologically speaking, into the crowd of safely domesticated species—at least for the time being.

Cape Cod chefs are no exception. At the upscale Truro bistro, Blackfish, where I spend my evenings, chef Eric Jansen recently ordered several trays to soak up the sunshine out back. In the afternoons before service, he and the other cooks clip what they'll need for the night. Between the miniscule distance (both in time and miles) between plant and plate and the already potent flavor of the tiny greens, these garnishes taste powerfully fresh. I wouldn't want to eat a whole salad of them, but mixed in with the more delicate flavors of mature greens, they offer a taste worth savoring.


Anonymous said...

Elspeth, I've heard about this recent craze but haven't yet seen them. Are they outrageously expensive? I'm curious about that. Also, are they only seasonal, or is one of their advantages that they can be grown year-round? I'd love a tad more info. Thanks, and keep up the wonderful work. ~ Mamarooski

Elspeth said...

Mamarooski: They are somewhat expensive, but given the quantities they're used in (very small, as garnishes) the price is not too bad. They are not only seasonal, and via a number of websites can be purchased in seed form and grown year round on a sunny windowsill or greenhouse area. Check out this link for buying info: http://www.sproutpeople.com/seed/kit/microgreens.html.

Thanks for asking!

Anonymous said...

Elspeth, thank you for your quick response and for the website link. You might be interested in this really neat little seed sprouter from Johnny's Seeds in Maine. The link is:
It's called the Bioset Kitchen Salad Garden and costs only $16. A friend of mine got one and is sprouting all kinds of seeds in it and using them is salads, sandwiches, etc. ~Mamarooski

Anonymous said...

Please do not confuse Microgreens and Sprouts. They are not the same. Sprouts and Microgreens are grown in completely different ways. You cannot grow Microgreens with sprouting equipment.

Healthy nutrition said...

Pretty micro greens excite the eyes, mind and palate

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