I’m always looking for ways to make something just a little more colorful, and I’m particularly thrilled if I can find a lovely adornment that also adds a punch of flavor and nutrition. That’s why I’m so fond of microgreens piled up on everything from sandwiches and soups to omelets and roasted fish.
The vibrant green reminds me of Spring when the garden’s waking up and perennials are just poking out of the ground. Not only will they liven up your plate, but they are a cheerful sight on a sunny windowsill in winter. If you want a reason to try growing them yourself, take a trip to a decent grocery, and look for microgreens.
Microgreens take the baby greens trend from years past to an extreme new level. They are harvested when only a few inches tall or when they’ve just sprung their first set of true leaves. The flavor is very concentrated, and my favorite is a spicy blend of arugula, radish, and mustard greens. Aside from the sassy zing microgreens provide, word on the street is that they pack a punch in terms of nutritional value. A recent study at the University of Maryland adds some credibility to this theory, showing that some microgreens contained as much as four to six times the amount of certain vitamins when compared to the fully-grown versions of the plant.
Microgreens are extremely easy to grow at home, and the whole process only takes a couple of weeks. They’re just about the closest thing to instant gratification a gardener can hope for! All you really need is a container, soil mix, and seeds. There are several online sources for wonderful microgreens mixes, and you can often specify “spicy” or “mild.” Try Johnny’s Seeds or Mountain Valley Seeds. I grow microgreens in shallow, brown seed starting trays. You can use any shallow tray, even repurposed plastic food takeout containers with holes poked in the bottom for drainage.