If you know anything about fine dining, you’ve heard of organic micro greens. Organic micro greens are leafy vegetables that are harvested after the first true leaves sprout. Their micro size manages to pack a powerful punch in flavor and nutrients. Many top chefs like adding microgreens to salads, others love to use organic micro greens to give soups a pop of fresh color, flavor, and texture. Some culinary experts even use organic micro greens as edible decorations on delicate pastries or cakes.
If you want to really wow the guests at your next dinner party, make sure you incorporate some organic micro greens into your meal. Your guests will leave thinking, “Wow, this person really knows their way around a kitchen.” Guaranteed.
That being said, there’s a right and a wrong way to use organic micro greens. We want you to err on the side of the right way, so we’ve put together a guide of DOs and DON’Ts for cooking with organic micro greens, below:
How to Cook With Organic Micro Greens, Like a Pro
- DO: Let the micro greens be the star of your dish.
Organic micro greens are delicate and beautiful and a work of art in each tiny stem. That being said, they can easy get “lost in the sauce,” quite literally, if you let it. When you use organic micro greens in a dish, you want to keep the other flavors and qualities that you’re incorporating to be fairly subtle. Otherwise, what’s the point of wasting the precious organic micro greens if no one can even tell they’re there?
For this reason, one of our favorite renditions of organic micro greens is in pureed soups, where the texture is fairly consistent, and then the pop of micro greens sent a message to the brain that says, “WOW!”.
- DON’T: Destroy the delicasy of the micro greens by doing too much to it.
When you cook any type of produce, the heat destroys the greens at a cellular level. This degrades the nutritional value of the produce, and can impact the flavor as well. This is true for any leafy vegetable, but particularly true of the younger and more delicate organic micro greens. For this reason, the less you process an organic micro green before serving it, the better.
There are some situations where micro greens are great sauteed, but they almost always work fresh. Put your micro greens on salad, fresh from the farm. Add it to your desert or soup, without doing anything to it. If you do decide to cook your micro greens, think high heat for the shortest amount of time. The longer it’s in the pan, the more it becomes soggy and wilted.
- DO: Show your micro greens some love before you serve them, for best results.
Have you ever picked a handful of wildflowers and just put it down on the counter? Before long, your wildflowers are sad and wilted and barely resemble the lively, colorful flowers that took your breath away on the stem.
The same goes for micro greens. Micro greens are living organisms that need to be cared for in order to maintain the beauty and freshness that they offer. If you are going to cook with micro greens, we recommend following the following steps:
- Purchase your micro greens the day you’re going to serve them (or as close to the time they’ll be used as possible).
- Leave the micro greens on the stem they grew from until right before you serve them. This stem offers them nutrients and keeps them fresh looking.
- To prep your micro greens for dinner, lay them on a damp paper towel and mist them with a spray bottle. Leave them in the fridge, uncovered, until it’s time to serve them.
- DON’T: Use micro greens that are not food grade.
You’ll find micro greens at many florists or plant nurseries, but these ones have been treated with pesticides and fertilizers that might not be intended for consumption. To ensure that your micro greens are meant to be used as food, always look for the sticker that says it has an organic certification. That means they have not been treated with any chemicals before they reach your plate.
We love cooking with micro greens, and we know you will too. These tips will help you succeed at it.