Chefs are constantly updating their menus to create something new and vibrant for their patrons' palette.
They add microgreens for various reasons- the taste, appearance, and of course, health benefits. Besides, microgreens go well in salads, soups, smoothies, drinks, sandwiches, and even garnishes.
It’s because they boast unique flavors that spice up any dish while the colors are pleasing to the eye.
Some chefs like creating a rainbow mix using four or five microgreens. They then use the mixture to garnish various plates. While there are quite a few microgreens in the market, here are the most popular microgreens for chefs.
Alfalfa is grown hydroponically to germinate in 1-2 days and harvest in about 8 to 12 days. They have large, deep-green leaves with a mild crunch and flavor. They are best added to salads and sandwiches for that extra crunch.
Beet microgreens are best grown in soil. They take about 6-8 days to germinate and are ready for harvesting in 10-12 days. The microgreens are treasured for their green leaves with dark red stems, perfect for adding color to any dish.
Chefs especially like the Detroit Dark Red beet microgreens for their earthy and slightly bitter taste. They use it to top off beet hummus to work as both a treat for the eyes and taste buds.
Buckwheat microgreens are grown in soil to germinate in 1-2 days quickly. It's ready for harvesting in 6-12 days. While the leaves look yellow when young, sunlight makes them slowly grow green in color. Buckwheat microgreens are popularly used by chefs for their tangy flavor and in gluten-free dishes.
Clover microgreens are preferably grown hydroponically. It starts germinating in just 1-2 days but is ready for harvesting in 8 to 12 days. Clover microgreens have green leaves with a mild, fresh flavor. The younger clover microgreens come with a sweeter taste, make good garnishing, and add crunch to any salad.
Collard microgreens are grown hydroponically to germinate in 1-2 days and are ready for harvest in 10-12 days. They have a dark green color and taste like adult collards, but with a more intense flavor. Collard is best used for garnishing purposes, like for decorating spaghetti and in salads.
Kale microgreens are grown hydroponically. They germinate in 2-3 days and harvest in 8-12 days. These microgreens are green in color and taste like red leaf lettuces and traditional romaine. That's why they make an excellent base for microgreens salads and are the perfect addition to many smoothies.
Kohlrabi is better grown hydroponically to germinate in 2-5 days and harvest in 8 to 12 days. They have green leaves and white stems and have a mild, cabbage-like flavor. Chefs use them most in salads, sandwiches, and slaw.
Pea microgreens are grown in soil to germinate in 2-3 days and get ready for harvesting in 8 to 12 days. These microgreens have a fresh, mildly sweet flavor and come with a crunchy texture.
Pea microgreens are popular with chefs, thanks to their pleasantly rounded large leaves. They make the perfect omelet garnishing and are also a tasty addition to a strawberry salad.
Arugula microgreens are grown in soil to germinate in 2-3 das and are ready for harvesting in 5 to 7 days. They come with a sharp and peppery flavor that chefs use to complement all sorts of salads and sandwiches. Micro arugula is also paired well with roasted beet carpaccio and goat cheese.
Radish microgreens are better grown hydroponically. They germinate in 1-2 days and are ready for harvesting in 5-12 days. Radish is a chef's favorite microgreen because people love the crispness and flavor.
They have a strong, radish flavor with a slight crunch. As they are green and red, they are used mainly for garnishing and to improve the presentation of a dish.
Radish microgreens also make a great addition to dishes like watermelon avocado salad and are a great topping for sandwiches, like salmon burgers. They also go well with sushi and Asian cuisine and are available most of the time.
Swiss chard microgreens are best grown in soil. They germinate in 2-5 days and are ready for harvesting in 8 to 12 days. The microgreens are a darker green shade with a spinach flavor, making a great addition to any salad or pizza. Bright Lights Chard microgreens are also very popular with chefs for their color and subtle but versatile flavor.
Carrot microgreens are subtly sweet in flavor and popularly used by chefs to add flavor and flair to a dish. However, unlike other microgreens, these microgreens grow relatively slowly. They germinate in 7 days and are ready for harvesting only after four weeks or longer.
Basil microgreens are popular with chefs for their sweet and savory profile. Though it costs more, it's available through summer. It complements heirloom tomatoes and is a great cocktail garnish.
Popcorn shoots offer a subtle and sweet flavor to dishes and especially pairs well with shellfish. Chefs popularly use these microgreens for their size.
Micro buckwheat has a nutty undertone with a citrus finish. It gives a tangy flavor to most dishes. It's a favorite with chefs because it's relatively low in cost and readily available.
Micro sunflower shoots may have a mild flavor but come with a nutty undertone. Relatively low in cost, these microgreens complement a green salad and artisan cheese well. Sunflower shoots come in various varieties. The Black Oil variety is a large microgreen that is used to enhance a plate's looks and nutritional value.
Magenta Spreen takes about 12 to 14 days to germinate and at least four weeks for harvesting. Though they grow slow, chefs agree the mild and generic flavor and colors make it well worth the wait.
Red-veined sorrel microgreens are slow to sprout, but once it grows, it's a prolific grower. The unique lemony flavor is so popular with chefs that red-veined sorrel microgreens are now a trend. Besides, it's also popularly used by chefs to improve a dish's appearance.
A few other microgreens that chefs may use in their cooking for added taste and crunch include:
In a nutshell, most microgreens are popular with chefs. It's left to the chef to use their cooking expertise to complement microgreens with suitable dishes. Some chefs may use microgreens according to the present trends. Some may prefer using microgreens based on seasons.
A few others may also use them to create a rainbow mix to enhance a dish's appearance and nutritional value.
The colors, crunch, and flavors of microgreens are just what chefs need to tickle their customers' tongues and have them come back for more.