Microgreen Goddess

“What the heck is a microgreen, anyway?”

That’s what a long-time Moore Brothers CSA participant asked me yesterday.

“Um, I’m not sure. I’ve always assumed they’re just teensy radish greens, but I’ve never looked it up.”

Well, now I have. Turns out, they’re pretty much any super-young salad green (arugula, chard, radish, mustard, beet, and so on) that’s harvested between sprout and “baby” stage — usually within a week or two of the leaves’ emergence.

Also turns out that they’re considered extra dense in both nutrients and flavor.

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This batch looks like mostly radish leaves to me, maybe with a few bulls-blood beets thrown in. A little spicy, a lot delicious.

I’ve used them as garnish for deviled eggs, as a crunchy-peppery layer on hummus sandwiches, sprinkled into salads, and even in smoothies (more a desperation play, honestly). But in all these CSA seasons (I think I’m now at 17), I’ve never actually made anything with them.

Until this morning.

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It’s a dressing. It’s a dip. It’s a Microgreen Goddess.
Microgreen Goddess Dressing
  • 1 small clamshell package of microgreens (about 1-1/2 cups, packed)
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp tarragon leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped (or a strand or two of garlic greens or scapes)
  • juice of one small lemon
  • 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used Just Mayo — egg-free and vegan!)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Using just the first third-cup of olive oil, combine everything except the yogurt and mayo in a food processor or blender (I actually found the food processor to be easier, since the smallish volume kind of got lost in the Vitamix and required a lot of pauses to scrape down the sides). Blend for a minute or two, until smooth.

Add the yogurt and mayo, plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend again, for 20 – 30 seconds. Taste, and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, lemon). This formulation should be pretty thick (think French onion or ranch dip). For something more along the salad dressing side of the scale, stream in the rest of the olive oil.

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Radishes are a natural, but carrots, broccoli florets, cauliflower, or any crudité, really, like a dunk here. For salads, choose a sturdier green, like Romaine or even kale. I won’t be shy about trying this on grilled salmon or chicken, either.

Makes about 1-1/2 cups. Keeps for several days in the fridge.

Variations?

  • Mexican: Substitute cilantro in for the tarragon and lime for the lemon.
  • Greek: Double the yogurt, 86 the mayo, sub dill and parsley for the tarragon, and add a handful of feta.

And if you can’t find microgreens, spinach and/or watercress — or, of course, young beet, chard, or radish greens — work just fine, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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