Microgreens and edible flowers are tasty, attractive accents to any dish, dessert or cocktail. They?re turning up in salads and decorating soups, adding a snap of flavor to steak and potatoes and texture and interest to sandwiches. In fact micro greens and edible flowers have stormed the world of haute cuisine, and home cooks are now starting to learn about their value. The number and availability of micro green varieties continues to grow, making them more accessible and popular.
What are microgreens?
Microgreens aren?t small or new plants, they are miniature plants in themselves. They are typically one to two inches long. The plants are fully developed, with stem and leaves. Because of their small size, they pack a tremendous amount of flavor, which makes them popular with chefs in fine dining restaurants. In fact, since the mid-1980s, microgreens have become a feature of elegant meals.
In fact, micro greens are miniature vegetables. There are many micro green varieties. Arugula, beets, horseradish, broccoli, cilantro and many other plants can be found in their miniaturized versions. The tiny vegetables and edible flowers can be used to enhance the appearance and taste of just about any dish, salad, soup or dessert. All it takes is imagination. And some care in handling.
Handle with care
Storage and handling of microgreens takes some care, because they have a short shelf life. Care must also be taken to avoid bruising of leaves and vegetables. Researchers are experimenting with breathable packaging which helps to preserve their freshness.
Temperature matters too when the goal is to preserve the freshness and taste of the tiny vegetables. The optimal temperature for storing microgreens is 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees Celsius. With care, micro green varieties can remain fresh for up to two weeks.
How to use microgreens
Microgreens add a burst of flavor to any dish, salad or sandwich. They?re also cute and decorative, making a great way to top off a cocktail or dessert. Edible flowers likewise add color and taste to any dessert or drink. About a hundred types of garden flowers are edible and also taste good.
Crystallized edible flowers are a classic decoration for cakes, muffins and cookies. Rose petals, violets and lavender add both color and taste. After a long hiatus, cooking with flowers is coming back into fashion for the first time since the Victorian era.
Different micro green varieties and edible flowers add taste and interest to nearly any dish, salad, sandwich or dessert. This makes them popular with both professional chefs and home cooks.