What are “micro greens”?
Micro greens are simply “early” versions of greens or herbs that are less than 14 days old. Small in size “micros” are exceptionally tender and intensely flavored. Specifically selected for their unique flavor or color, micros are a stunning visual and flavorful addition to almost any plate.
What kind of greens come in the “micro” variety?
The early spouting leaves of just about any vegetable, leaf green and some herbs can be harvested as micro greens. The trick is in the growing and harvesting methods that are specific to micro green production. At Bella Verdi we have 8-10 micro green varietals in production at any one time (shifting with seasons and chef requests).
Are they seasonal or can I get them year-round?
At Bella Verdi Farms we grow micro greens in a climate controlled green house utilizing an “organically principled” hydroponics system. This means that we can produce high quality micro greens throughout the year. Some varietals do better in cooler weather than others and some take to heat and humidity better so our planting plan does change somewhat with the seasons.
Interesting. How do I cook with or use them in a recipe?
Micro greens are amazingly versatile! Simply adding “micro” arugula to a pizza coming out of the oven or incorporating a mix of “micros” into your favorite sandwich makes an incredible difference. Used in place of other traditional garnishes, finishing herbs or sprouts, the fresh and lively flavors enhance soups, sides and entrée dishes alike and of course salads offer amazing opportunities to use micro greens as either the prime ingredient or a flavor punch. We’ve even had chefs showoff the versatility of micro greens …cooking eight course meals with “micros” utilized in every course… even dessert! We will be regularly adding recipes and usage suggestions to this website. Have a suggestion or recipe? Please contact us.
There seem to be several different varieties… do they really taste different?
Absolutely! Just like the full grown varietals micro greens offer a wide range of differing flavors and texture (or “mouth feel”). As you get to know the differences, food pairing opportunities become very interesting. Just a few of the more popular varieties are listed below:
- Peppery, sometimes “nutty” flavored green
- Great as a garnish for delicate soups and fish
- Stands up well mixed into salads and pasta dishes.
- Dark green leaf with purple veins and leaf edges
- Enhances virtually any dish with a distinctive look and a mild earthy flavor with just a touch of heat
- Purple/pink stem leading to dark green leaves,
- Earthy flavor similar to fresh, crunchy broccoli stems with accents of radish.
- Asian mustard with a unique, spicy flavor.
- Excellent mixed in salads or as a flavorful garnish.
- This spicy micro green is equally at home in Sushi rolls and roasted pork dishes!
- Deep green with a strong taste similar to spinach
- Rich in calcium and vitamins
- Excellent in salad mixes or as a garnish for stir-fries.
What about the nutritional value of micro greens?
Micro greens have been found to contain higher levels of concentrated active compounds than found in mature plants or seeds. These tiny baby plants provide a convenient and concentrated means for absorbing the active compounds
Micro greens are considered to be in the group of what are newly referred to as “functional foods” which are food products that contain particular health promoting or disease preventing properties that are additional to their normal nutritional values.