This Summer What We’re Craving: Mighty Microgreens

It’s sunny, humid mid-summer here in Chicago, and we’re taking our green thumb out of the garden and into the kitchen. This year, we’ve been all about the veggies, leafy greens and eco-friendly health trends. Today, we’re talking tiny trends: microgreens! Nutritionally-packed powerhouses, these small sprigs are seedlings plucked from the earth after the initial sprouting and before “baby” leaves grow. These bite-size shoots contain all vitamins and nutrients of their fully-grown plants, meaning they’re super nutrient-dense. Not to mention, they also add volume and natural, vibrant color to any dish. From our catering kitchen to yours, here’s how to use microgreens in YOUR food.

Make Meats Look Garden-Fresh

Many main dish plates are dominated by the protein, which is often a roasted or baked meat. Often, meat-heavy dishes are served alongside a bright, creamy sauce or a light, colorful side salad to balance the serving—why not also balance the protein portion itself with a fresh green garnish? Microgreens are an easy addition to any meat already garnished with herbs: chopped chives with chicken, rosemary with beef, dill or parsley with fish. Microgreens blend into the mix while also adding an unexpected textural element and plenty more nutrients. Below, we have a stuffed and roasted chicken breast garnished with just a light sprinkle of chives and greens. Check out our blog post on smoking food for a closer look at the red tomato sauce.

Pair with other garden greens and veggies!

One of the easiest ways to use microgreens is to pair them with their fully-matured counterparts—leafy greens and veggies. For example, microgreens grown from seeds that would otherwise produce a radish will impart that same peppery taste to a salad without the need to add any radish slices. While microgreens are obviously a natural fit for salads, they’re also perfect for sandwiches. Any sandwich garnished with sprouts could also benefit from the addition of some microgreens. Though the greens are different in taste and nutrient-density than the sprouts, both seedlings have a similarly fresh crunch and are complementary in size and shape. Below, we have an avocado sub (on vegan cheddar bread!) topped with both sprouts and microgreens.

Incorporate color with edible flowers

Inspired by the urban gardens scattered throughout our home city of Chicago, we’re inspired by the idea that you can creating a garden in any environment, even a dinner plate. For total flower-field-vibes, we suggest pairing a microgreen garnish with a selection of colorful edible flowers. This combo really highlights the garnishes and allows them to be the focus of the food presentation.  A neat pile of fresh shoots and fragrant flower blooms adds eye-catching height to tartines and crostinis. Check out the simple white and green crostinis on the bottom left. On the bottom right, we have a platter of tartines coated in colorful spreads and topped with a variety of shaved veggies, miniature edible pansies and microgreen garnishes.