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Market Haul

Market Haul: Microgreens

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Microgreens might appear delicate and dainty but they pack a ton of flavor on the palate.


Looking for a way to elevate your run-of-the-mill recipes to restaurant-level quality? Grab some microgreens. These flavorful specialty plants are often priced high at gourmet grocers and health food stores, but by buying them straight from the source at the farmers' market, you'll save money and get the fresher products. They may even be available loose in bins, so you can bring your own reusable container to take them home in.

In essence, microgreens are small versions of your favorite greens, harvested as seedlings. They come in a seemingly endless list of varieties; from basil to cilantro, lettuce to celery, if you can think of a green, chances are that it exists in "micro" form.

How to choose them
Microgreens should look vibrant and taught. Limp leaves and stems indicate that the plants have passed their prime.

Generally, microgreens have a flavor profile reminiscent of their larger counterparts. Arugula microgreens, for example, taste similar to arugula. Thus, choose your variety accordingly.

How to use them
Microgreens are flavorful, delicate and beautiful to look at, which makes them ideal for a variety of dishes. Dress some microgreens with light vinaigrette for a simple, refreshing salad. Add them to a sandwich for a crisp punch of flavor. Use a few leaves and stems as a garnish for everything from pasta to steak.

How to store them
Wrap your leftover microgreens in a slightly damp paper towel and store the whole package in an unsealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer. They'll last for about a week.

SOURCES
Johnny’s Seeds
ChefSteps

What are your favorite ways to use microgreens? Share your tips below.

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About the Author
Amy Gordon
Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon is a Wharton graduate who prefers flip flops to business suits. She writes about travel, food, wellness, and social consciousness.

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  • John H. 3 years ago
    I am going to explore this more. If used microgreens for garnish especially on fish and lamb dishes. I've never really considered them for much more. IT may be cost prohibitive, but I'm willing to check it out.
  • Glenda M. 4 years ago
    I use greens of every kind in cooking. When we were little greens were a large part of our diet. I just simply love eating them and they are good for you.
    • John H. 3 years ago
      Oh how I too love greens. Collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, spinach, kale, or just about any of them. As the youngest of 11 kids, we were dirt poor as kids. Maybe that's why Mom would fix them daily. They were plentiful, tasty and versatile. Whatever the reason, I've never tired of them and they are still a family staple whether straight out of the gardens or from the market.