They may be tiny versions of their adult counterparts but they pack a punch of good health thanks to their dense nutrients which is why microgreens are becoming popular.
Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are smaller than baby greens and harvested later than sprouts. They are typically used for garnish but can also be eaten as salads due to their crunchy, tasty flavours that can range from sweet to spicy.
There are many things one can do with microgreens. “A salad composed of these little plants is a wonderful, and they can add beautiful colour and delicate flavour to high-end composed dishes. Microgreens also offer an easy way to augment simple dishes like egg or potato, they work very well as a stuffing for chapattis and paratha,” says ,” says Chef Mukhtar Qureshi – Masterchef at Ummrao, Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai. There are many things that you can do with microgreens from adding it on top of pizza and pasta, in a sandwich or to salads. “You can also simply blend to make dips, dressings and sauces. While their nutrient value has high regard restaurants use microgreens for visual purposes or for culinary eye candy. You can put them on a canapé or mix them in a salad. But you have to remember to wash them thoroughly and keep in chilled water to maintain the freshness,” says Sheriyar Dotivala, Executive Chef The Resort Mumbai. Microgreens may be eaten raw, juiced or blended and can be fused into a variety of cold and warm dishes. “They can be combined into a variety of dishes, including sandwiches, wraps and salads. Microgreens may also be mixed into smoothies or juiced. Wheatgrass juice is a common example of a juiced microgreen,” says Chef Naved Patel, Food Stylist & Restaurant Consultant. There is a common misconception that they can only be used as garnishes which Chef Anahita N. Dhondy Chef Partner, SodaBottleOpenerWala says is incorrect. “I have made an Asian salad with the sunflower crisp which is basically sunflower leaves, they have a beautiful texture which is velvety and very nutty. One can make full-fledged salads and dishes with pesto or even make sautéed greens with it.”
Microgreens have higher levels of nutrients than mature vegetables and undergo more photosynthesis than sprouts so they develop more nutrients. Microgreens are the first leaves that grow from the seeds of herbs, vegetables or flowers. These tiny and extremely adorable seedlings are packed with rare nutrients and vitamins. Loaded with nutrition and having upto 40 times more nutrition than their fully-grown counterparts.” There are a variety of microgreens available that includes Swiss chard, Arugula, Alfalfa, Nasturtium, Purple Kohlrabi, Sango Radish, Sunflower, Pink Radish and Kale Micros. is another microgreen known as rocket and has a strong peppery flavor that adds zip to many dishes. “Arugula micro-greens are one of the best for boosting immunity and helping maintain cholesterol levels. They are also an excellent source of vitamins, such as vitamin C, and other nutrients such as sulforaphane with multiple health benefits,” avers Keya Salot, Founder, Farm2Fam. Microgreens pack a huge punch for their size. “They are versatile and can add a great balance of both flavour and aesthetics to a dish; they are also easy to grow and can be harvested much sooner than their counterparts, which is why we are seeing them quite extensively now on menus across the world,” adds Chef Prateek Sadhu, Masque.
Do It Yourself
Microgreens can be conveniently grown at home. All you need is soil/cotton a container, sunlight ideally for 6-8 hours a day and a few good quality seeds. “I use moist cotton as a base instead of mud and ensure the cotton stays moist all the time by spraying it with water. The seeds sprout in a week and have to be kept in a cool and dry place. Avoid excessive watering the soil as this will not allow them to grow well,” says Chef Jerson Fernandes-Executive Chef at Jeon, Sea Princess. Chef Aanal Kotak adds, “microgreens are very easy to grow on a small scale and can also be grown indoors where light sunlight is available. It usually takes 2 to 3 weeks to harvest the micro greens. While growing this, you have to take care that you keep the soil moist as much as possible which will give good results.” Do add a dash of microgreens to your plate they are both healthy and hearty.
Avocado Toast By Chef Tarun Sibal, Cofounder, One fine Meal
- 2 Toast
- 2 Tbsp Avocado Paste
- 2 Tsp Feta Cheese
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Red Radish for garnishing
- 2 Tsp Pomegranate
- Lemon zest a pinch
- Spread Avocado paste on toast.
- In a piping bag put Feta cheese and put on the toast.
- Sprinkle back pepper.
- Add the lemon zest.
- Garnish with Red Radish, Pomegranate and Microgreens.
Greek Salad Recipe by Shaurvya Veer Kapoor, Corporate Chef, Café Hawker’s
- 2-3 medium cucumbers, removed the seeds
- 3 tomatoes
- ¾ Crumbled Feta Cheese
- ½ cup Green olives
- 1tsp Olive oil
- Bunch of Microgreens
- ½ oregano
- ½ tsp salt and pepper
- 6-7 walnuts
- Toss the tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers, olives together in a deep medium bowl.
- Also add olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper and toss well
- Now add your crumbled feta cheese and toss very gently.
- Cover this bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.
- Before serving add some fresh and healthy microgreens into the salad.
This story first appeared in The Tribune dated Dec 21, 2019 here: