Spring is the sweetest time of year. When the nights are cool and the days are warm, it beckons us outside where smells of rain and soil mingle. Join me, and plant something this spring!
I’ve been in “constant gardening mode” due to a number of seminars I’ve been presenting lately on the topic of green exercise. Many participants have been particularly engaged with the gardening content, enthusiastically sharing various gardening stories and methods with me. For instance, I sprouted beans for the first time, and learned that lettuce can be grown indoors in an old fish tank with an aquarium light! But the most interesting gardening activity that I am now trying is growing my own microgreens.
Microgreens are tiny, edible greens grown from the seeds of vegetables and herbs. They are older than a sprout, but younger than a full-grown plant. They are harvested when they are 7 to 14 days old and 1 to 3 inches tall by clipping the greens with scissors right above the soil level. After clipping, a new tray of greens is planted. A new “crop” comes up in about 2-3 weeks.
The flavor of microgreens is much more intense than that of mature greens, and their nutritional level is about five times more concentrated. They are perfect for sprinkling on salads and baked potatoes, folding into omelets, tucking into wraps, and as a topping on English muffins with melted cheese… yum!
I’ve recently sown seeds of Upland Cress, which has a peppery, almost spicy flavor, and Red Winter Kale, which has a mild, sweet flavor, which makes it especially versatile for appetizers. Upland Cress contains three times the amount of vitamin C as oranges! And Red Winter Kale has been referred to as a “superfood” because it is so packed with vitamins, iron and protein.
Have I made you hungry?! Here’s an easy, delicious appetizer using cress microgreens or simply watercress from your local grocery store. I sampled this appetizer at a recent housewarming party where it was a big hit. It was made with soft goat cheese, watercress, strawberries, and served with crostini toasts. I found a photo online to give you an idea of what it looked like.
Happy growing and happy spring!
Wishing you the very best in health and happiness,
Soft cheese with strawberries, cress, and crackers
Soft goat cheese, Brie, or cream cheese
Fresh strawberries, sliced thin
Homegrown cress microgreens or chopped watercress from your local grocery store (discard the stems)
Crisp, neutral crackers or toasts that won’t compete with the cheese
Arrange soft cheese on a plate and garnish with strawberries and cress, serve with crackers or toast. You’re done!
If you enjoy wine, I would pair this with a lighter wine such as a Pinot Noir that will not overpower the flavors.
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