Similar to forals, chefs use microgreens (herbs and greens harvested directly after they sprout) for both their aesthetic and taste. And while you’re probably familiar with the standard kinds like cilantro and parsley, advancements in hydroponic farming are now yielding rare varieties.
Here, five options to look for at your farmer’s market.
1. Micro Mizuna (Red, Green, Purple, and Mizamerica)
Peppery and mustardy, this Japanese varietal is said to help fight inflammation. Try it in salads or with Asian dishes such as stir-fries.
2. Micro Pea Shoots
Light and airy, they have the same bright pea taste without the hassle of shucking. They’re rich in antioxidants and vitamin C and are a terrific way to elevate veggie tacos or soups.
3. Long Winter Bunching Onion
The little sister to chives, this microgreen has a more mild onion flavor. As a perennial seed it can survive harsh winter conditions and is an ideal garnish for spring soups or canapés. It’s rich in potassium, iron, calcium, vitamins A and C, and contains quercetin, an antioxidant that can help with heart health.
4. Micro Lemon Basil
Small and dainty, these leave have rich basil flavor with a hint of citrus. Basil has been shown to provide beta-carotene and high levels of vitamin K. Use the microgreen in stews and curries or with steamed or grilled meats and veggies.
Similar to a mini watercress, it has a spicy bite that adds flavor to salads and grilled veggies. It contains vitamins E, and C and helps prevent oxidative stress.