Microgreens are Easy to Grow the Back to the Roots Organic Kit


Above: On Day 4 the arugula was green and the radishes just germinating.

Next time, I’ll sow arugula and radish seeds separately.

The seeds of any vegetable or herb can be used for growing microgreens. Brassicas, in the so-called cruciferous family (named for their cross-shaped flowers), have the pleasing peppery flavor I like in these tidbits, and they have the most nutrition, bite for bite. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, kohlrabi, mustards, arugula, brussels sprouts—each qualify. Spices like fenugreek and coriander are fun and flavorful, provided the seeds are fresh.

Above: Wild garlic mustard microgreens on a forest floor.

There is another seed option, which adds earth-friendly, invasivore fun to outdoor excursions: wild microgreens. Invasive mustards like garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) in the Eastern states and black mustard (Brassica nigra) on the West Coast are environmental scourges, producing thousands of seeds per plant at the end of their flowering season. Gather handfuls of their mature, skinny seed pods in early summer, shake them out, and germinate your own, back home. Other feral seeds that work well include lamb’s quarters and amaranths.

Above: A sprinkle of microgreens delivers outsize satisfaction.

Feta and Yogurt Dip with Microgreens

This creamy, satisfying dip is excellent with crisp, raw vegetables, but it is versatile (see below). Feta that is packaged in brine has a better consistency than the crumbled versions. I am partial to sheep’s milk, and other white cheeses in brine can also be used, if you are lucky enough to live near the Balkan or Middle Eastern markets that sell them. You are unlikely to need additional salt, but always taste, to check.

  • 6 oz  feta, broken up
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 small celery ribs from the heart, finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • A flurry of microgreens
  • Urfa biber (optional)
  • Black pepper (optional)
  • Raw vegetables (optional)

In a food processor combine the feta cheese with the yogurt and the tahini. Pulse until the mixture is smooth, scraping the sides down a few times to dislodge any whole lumps of feta. Spoon the smooth dip onto a serving plate, leaving some depressions on the surface for the olive oil to pool. Scatter the chopped celery across. Drizzle the olive oil over the surface, add the microgreens, and top with your raw vegetables before finishing with the urfa biber and black pepper, if using.

The dip, finished with the necessary bite of spicy microgreens, can also be:

  • slathered onto toast and briefly broiled.
  • tossed with warm, just-cooked vegetables, like carrots.
  • spooned into a pillowy bed for beans or chickpeas.
  • whisked into a thick dressing for chunky romaine or iceberg lettuce.
  • piled up as a foundation for warm, poached eggs.
  • mixed into egg salad in lieu of less-healthy mayonnaise.

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