Got a comely crop of microgreens ready for the picking? Congratulations! The trick now is to ensure they stay fresh and vibrant right up until the moment you pop them on the plate. There's nothing worse than shepherding to life a thriving bed of microgreens, only to damage the plants when you pick them or place them on a dish. To help you avoid this, we've outlined the best practices for harvesting, cleaning, and storing your micros. The most important thing: Be careful! These little guys are as delicate as they are delicious. Properly packaged, many varieties can last for several days in the fridge, though, when practical, we always suggest snipping as late in the game as you can so that your plants lend a healthy, robust look to your dish.
When microgreen varieties are growing, we pick whole plants as they look ready, hand-selecting the best ones to use on the plate. This helps to keep old root stock from taking up too much space in the tray, making room for newbies. That way you won't disturb plants that are still developing.
We recommend picking and tasting your microgreens every few days to determine when they're most flavorful and tender. Keep notes so you know when your next crop will be ready for harvest.
trimming & cleaning
We tend towards minimal trimming—often cutting off just the the primary leaves. Sometimes, however, you'll want to be a little more exacting. The trick here is simple: work carefully, taking care not to squeeze or crush them as you go. Using very sharp scissors or knives helps prevent tearing and bruising.
Once they're trimmed, begin cleaning by layering a tray with a damp paper towel and placing it near the rinsing area. Give each plant a quick dip in cool (read: not icy) water, then place them, one by one, atop the towel. (Plants should be spread out and not touching one another.) It's important to work speedily—you don't want greens to stay warm very long.
All harvested greens will last longer if stored properly. Keep microgreens between damp paper towels, and make sure they are cold and covered in a resealable bag or container. Wrapped this way, they'll last in the fridge for about a week.
Keep greens covered right up until the point when they hit the plate—this will ensure that they don't wilt or dry out during service.
Oh man, there are so many things to do with microgreens. A salad composed of these little plants is a wonderful first-course at a tasting dinner, and they can add beautiful color and delicate flavor to high-end composed dishes. Microgreens also offer an easy way to augment simple dishes like egg or potato salad. Use your imagination—and bask in the joy of serving beautiful food you grew yourself.