Four Ways People Ruin Their Micro Green Dishes

Crystallized flower

If you have ever watched any of the many hit cooking TV shows on right now, you know about the many micro green varieties that are sweeping the culinary world. Micro greens are leafy vegetables or herbs that are harvested right after their true leaves appear, when they are at the peak of their flavor and nutritional potency, elevating any dish that they are graced with.

There are micro green varieties that are specialty produce for decorating pastries and desserts. There are micro green varieties that are meant for taking a fresh summer salad from “meh” to “WOW!”. There are micro green varieties that add that pop to a already nice soup that make it a culinary masterpiece. You cook with microgreens and the guests of your dinner table will be awed.

However, microgreens themselves are tiny works of art. You can’t just sprinkle them generously over anything you make without understanding the power you harness. You need to understand what you’re cooking with and use it wisely. If you’re going to cook with organic micro greens, make sure you avoid these common mistakes:

Four Ways People Ruin Their Micro Green Dishes

  1. MISTAKE: Not allowing the micro green to be the star of the dish.

    Micro greens are delicate. They are small. They are easily overpowered by strong flavors. If you aren’t making the dish to glorify the micro green itself, it can easily get “lost in the sauce.” And if this is the case, why bother going through the trouble of using the micro green at all? Cooking with micro greens isn’t just for bragging rights. Do it right, and the micro greens themselves will do the talking. You won’t have to tell your guests that they’re there.

    How to fix it: Use your micro greens on dishes that don’t have a “star”. Using micro greens on a garlic butter lobster tail is a waste of magic. We like to sprinkle them on top of fresh salad greens. Or you can incorporate it into a blended soup for added color, texture, and flavor.
  2. MISTAKE: Overworking your micro greens before you serve them.

    Your micro greens do the most for your dish the less that you touch them. If you bake, steam, boil, or broil your micro greens before you serve them, what lands on your guests plates are tiny, indistinguishable, soggy greens that really don’t serve any purpose.

    How to fix it: Err on the side of freshness. Use your micro greens straight from Mother Nature, untouched by man, as often as you can. At most, you can pop them in a super hot cast iron for a few seconds to do a quick saute that doesn’t compromise the value of the micro green itself. The longer it is in the heat, the more the nutritional and flavor value is compromised.

  3. MISTAKE: Getting your micro greens from the wrong source.

    There are a lot of suppliers of micro greens that were never intended to be eaten. If you get your micro greens from your local florists shop or a plant nursery, or even the plant section of your grocery store, there’s a good chance they were never meant for human consumption. These micro greens were likely treated with pesticides and herbicides and fertilizer that make them unsafe to be eaten.

    How to fix it: Always look for that “certified organic” symbol on your micro greens. When you buy micro greens from a supplier that is certified organic, you know that they are untouched by chemicals and toxins that are meant to kill bugs and weeds, and could be harmful to your health.
  4. MISTAKE: Killing your micro greens before you serve them.

    Even after they’re cut, micro greens are living organisms with needs. The longer you keep them alive before serving, the better they look and taste in your dish. If you buy your micro greens a week before you cook with them, and treat them like a sack of potatoes, they’ll look pitiful on your plate.

    How to fix it: Buy your micro greens as close to serving time as you can. Keep them on the stem in the fridge. If it’s going to be more than a few days, add a wet paper towel or mist with a water bottle to keep them fresh.