Aptly named because they taste just like their bigger counterparts, microgreens are a form of young, edible greens. The young, tender crops are grown to the first true leaf stage and harvested as seedlings. They also grow quickly; seeds are planted and grown in soil or a soil substitute and are ready to harvest in 7-14 days. Arugula, beets, radish, cilantro, golden pea shoots, fennel, parsley, celery, chard, kale, cress, mustard, basil, spinach, and broccoli are among the most commonly grown microgreens.
They are not to be mistaken as sprouts, which are germinated seeds that don’t have true leaves and are soaked in water. Microgreens are becoming more popular because of their texture, colors and intense flavors. They’ve been cited as a “culinary buzzword” by several food news outlets over the past couple years and are becoming more prevalent on mainstream menus. Not only do they add aesthetics and taste to a dish, but they’re also nutritious.
They can be used as a garnish or to add a pop of color or flavor to a dish. But don’t just relegate them to the side; they also make tasty salads and they can easily replace lettuce in more common applications, such as topping a burger. Some available microgreens for Maines customers include Micro Arugula, Micro Basil, Micro Bulls Blood, Micro Broccoli, Micro Chef Blend, Micro Herb Mix, Micro Celery, Micro Red Cabbage, and Micro Rainbow Mix.
In the same family as microgreens are edible flowers such as lavender, nasturtium, orchid, pansy, snapdragon and viola. These are excellent for making a statement with a high-end presentation but they can also beautify any type of dish as a subtle accent or a touch of sweet flavor. Maines gets many of its microgreens and edible flowers from local farmers who can grow them under carefully controlled conditions with perfectly timed harvesting. Ask your Maines Sales Associate for a full listing of available microgreens.