Microgreens and pea shoots are delicious baby greens we grow in trays in the greenhouse on a rich compost. They are some of the first items we can grow in spring alongside our transplants even before our hoophouse soil is warm enough. They are a big part of our spring shares and are often also given in our early summer CSA boxes. Market goers will see microgreens and pea shoots at our farm stand from April-June.
Occasionally, we offer microgreens throughout the season (on and off as weather allows) as well as in the fall. Pea shoots don’t do as well in the heat of summer and are only a spring/early summer and fall item.
What are microgreens?
Microgreens are exactly what they sound like: micro greens. They are densely seeded veggies (or herbs) that are harvested very young. They pack a huge amount of flavor and nutrition per ounce and also make basic dishes like eggs and pastas look special as garnish. They can also be served in big portions as the primary green of a spring salad. We also enjoy the flavor on wraps and salads galore!
One important distinction to note is that microgreens and pea shoots are not sprouts. Some people confuse the two because they are both very small, sprout-like things that can easily be added to sandwiches, bowls, and other dishes to add a nutritional punch, but they are different. Microgreens are grown in soil (or in our case compost) and sprouts are germinated in water. With microgreens, you are eating the stem and leaves. With sprouts, you are eating the stem and seed. There are also different food safety concerns with sprouts that are not present for micro greens.
What we grow
Pictured above you’ll see a spring share which includes three different types of microgreens. We grow a great variety of microgreens and CSA members will often see this variety showcased in the spring.
Our main microgreen offerings include:
- Mild and Mighty Mix – a mix of teeny tiny bok choy, mizuna, broccoli, mild radishes
- Slightly Spicy – similar to our mild mix plus some gorgeous purple mustards
- Arugula Lovers Blend – a mix of our mild mix and arugula
- Rainbow Radish – these radish greens are mild, big and have a bit more of a hearty texture (like a small lettuce) than the other smaller micro greens
- Pea Shoots – these are bigger than a sprout and offer the flavor of a spring snap pea in a green. Because of their heft, size and texture, you cook these in addition to eating them raw. While they are great raw in salads, they are lovely wilted down or stir-fried too.
Microgreens are one of the most perishable things we grow. You are going to want to use them very quickly, like within a few days of purchase. We harvest them right before delivery or market so you could possibly get a week out of them but it really depends on storage.
Luckily, they are very easy to use (see recipes). Store in the container or bag we sell/deliver them in, and if you have issues with them getting too soft you can add a small piece of paper towel to allow for fluctuations in moisture. If they start to take on a funky smell, it’s best to discard them.
Microgreens are unique on our farm because they are one of the only items we offer that is unwashed! This is something we have to do for perishability reasons (microgreens go bad almost immediately after being washed). We recommend you wash them very gently in cold water RIGHT before use and then use a salad spinner to dry, or lay them on a towel 15-30 minutes prior to using.
How to cook/eat microgreens & pea shoots
Microgreens and pea shoots are incredibly versatile and a great addition to pretty much any dish you’re making. Some of our favorite ways to use them are:
- Tossed into our daily salads is a great place to start – any ratio is fine, but we tend to add 1/4 cup to 2 cups of lettuce mix or other greens.
- Like we said earlier, you can also make a full salad out of microgreens and pea shoots, we’ve got a great recipe below! And here’s another example.
- Speaking of salads, you can also go way outside the box with microgreens, tossing them with things like shaved carrots, shaved radishes, cucumbers, grains, other greens, or whatever else you think might pair nicely. We’ve got a couple great examples below.
- Piled onto egg sandwiches to start our day with some greens.
- Or honestly, top any egg dish with them (scrambles, omelets, whatever!).
- Add them to savory toast dishes – they make a great topper to avocado toast, radish toast, and whatever else you feel like whipping up.
- Just like sprouts, microgreens and pea shoots are a delicious addition to sandwiches or burgers. Use them in place of lettuce or in addition if you’re looking to really green up your lunch.
- Finish your grain bowls, noodle dishes and tacos with a handful. There’s even a super fun tart recipe that gets finished with micros.
- One great trick is to use microgreens on any recipe that asks you to finish a dish with fresh herbs. If you don’t have those on hand, micros make a great substitution!
- Serve them on the side of rich dishes or meals to brighten things up. Squeeze a little lemon and sprinkle with sea salt for a great contrast.
- They can also be great tucked into spring rolls in addition to greens (or instead of).
- Like we said above, pea shoots are a bit sturdier so you can still enjoy them any of the ways listed above, but also try adding them into pasta dishes (especially mac & cheese!), saute them with garlic, stir them into soups, add them to stir fries, or gently sauté them before adding to pretty much any dish that could use a pop of green.
- Pea shoots also make a really great and tasty pesto.
Microgreens Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
Recipe by: Everyday Dishes
Yield: 6 servings
Time: 10 minutes
1 package microgreens
6 radishes, halved or sliced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse sea salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste
- Place the microgreens and radishes into a serving bowl and reserve in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Whisk together the remaining ingredients, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- At the last moment before serving, dress the salad lightly with dressing, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Enjoy!
Beet Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Recipe by: The Suburban Soapbox
Yield: 5 servings
Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
2 medium red beets
2 medium gold beets
4 medium carrots
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup microgreens (honestly, feel free to use 1-2 cups – the salad will be able to stand up to it)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 cloves garlic
1 small shallot
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Zest of 1/2 an orange
Juice of 1/2 an orange
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Rinse and scrub the beets well then place them whole in a baking dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cover with foil and roast for about 1 hour until fork tender.
- Peel the carrots then place them whole on a small baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and roast in the oven with the beets for about 30 minutes until starting to brown and also fork tender.
- When the beets are done roasting, carefully remove the foil and let cool until you can handle them. Once cool, peel and chop the beets.
- Chop the roasted carrots to the same size as the beets.
- Place the beets and carrots in a large bowl. Add the microgreens, red onion, goat cheese, hazelnuts and mint.
- Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients except the olive oil in a blender and blend until garlic and shallots are minced.
- Add olive oil and blend slowly until combined.
- Drizzle the prepared vinaigrette into the bowl and toss until all the ingredients are well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Smashed Herby Chickpea Wraps
Recipe by: Micro YYC
Yield: 2 servings
Time: 40 minutes
16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped finely (stems included)
1/2 cup parsley, chopped finely (stems included)
1 jalapeno, chopped finely, optional
6 small pickles, diced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon dijon
Salt and pepper to taste
2 wraps, any kind you want!
2-3 cups microgreens
Quick Pickled Veg:
1 cup white or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 large carrots, shredded
5 radishes, cut into matchsticks
2 shallots, halved and cut into thin slices
- In a pot over medium high heat stir vinegar, water, sugar, and salt for pickled veggies until sugar and salt has dissolved. Once brine boils, remove from heat.
- Stuff carrots, radishes and shallots into a pint mason jar (or any glass jar with a lid).
- Using a funnel, ladle the hot brine over your veg. Close up the jar and place it in the fridge. Feel free to make a day or two in advance if you prefer, it will just get more and more pickled, the longer it sits.
- Using a potato masher (or a fork) mash the chickpeas. You can keep them as chunky or mashy as you want. I like to keep them a little on the chunky side. Add the cilantro, parsley, jalapeno, lemon juice, yogurt, dijon, salt, and pepper to your chickpeas and stir it up. It’s really that easy. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
- Place two wraps on a cutting board or counter.
- Take your chickpea mixture and divide it between the two wraps. Don’t spread it all over the tortilla, keep it concentrated in the center as this will aid in the wrapping of the wrap. Take your pickled veg (you choose how much you want to use, I like a lot), give it a little squeeze to get rid of the excess brine, and place on top of the chickpea mixture. Finally, take a huge handful of microgreens (or two) and place it on top of everything. Wrap the wrap like a burrito and enjoy.
Pea and Little Gem Salad with Farro and Pecorino
Recipe by: Bon Appetit
Yield: 8 servings
Time: 45 minutes
1 cup semi-pearled farro
1 garlic clove, finely grated
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
8 cups Little Gem or other small lettuce leaves, torn if large
2 cups halved pea shoots
Shaved Pecorino Romano, for serving
- Cook farro in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente, 25–35 minutes. Drain and spread out on a baking sheet; let cool.
- Whisk garlic, oil, and lemon juice in a large bowl to combine; season dressing with salt and pepper. Add farro, peas, and lettuce to bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Add pea shoots and toss just until coated. Serve topped with Pecorino.