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Micro-greens are the cute (yes, cute), early versions of most vegetables, leafy greens, and some herbs. They aren’t the same as sprouts. They’re more like baby, leafy-green houseplants that you can eat. Sprouts are grown in water, micro-greens are grown in soil and harvested when the leaves open, but before they mature. The main difference between the two is the size of the root and the length of time before harvest. Although neither take long to grow, sprouts are quicker to reach harvest size.

I love micro greens — partly because they’re fun to experiment with and a nice diversion from regular vegetables, but also because of the vibrant colors, zippy taste, and low calorie nutrition. They pack a lot of nutrients in their tiny leaves and stems. Plus, they really are cute. They’re the puppies of the plant world.

My friends (thank you, Andy) at Grant Family Farms added micro-greens to the CSA share options this season. I jumped on that bandwagon immediately.

These feisty little mustard plants start with a sweet, mellow taste, but finish with a peppery bite. I love them. Here’s what I did with last week’s 20 x 12 tray of mustard micro-greens.

First up — pesto. And, oh-my-gosh, this is the best pesto ever.

Mustard micro-green pesto
what you need
2 cups mustard micro-greens (washed and dried)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic scapes, about 2–3 scapes *
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2–3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
pinch of sea salt

* I used garlic scapes because they came in my CSA box, but you can use 2 garlic cloves in place of the scapes.

what you do
1. Place micro greens in a food processor. Add garlic scapes (or, peeled and coarsely chopped garlic cloves), pine nuts, and lemon juice and pulse a few times to chop and blend well.
2. Add the Parmesan and slowly add the olive oil while pulsing to reach the consistency you desire. I don’t like pesto to be overly oily, so adjust to your liking.

Serve on grilled salmon, which is what I did the first time I made it and it was divine. The second time, I used it to make grilled pizza (recipe below). Try it on pasta or as a topping for crackers. Pesto is user-friendly. Be creative.

Outdoor grilled pizza with mustard micro-green pesto
what you need
2 Udi’s pizza gluten-free pizza crusts (1 package), or your choice of par-baked pizza crust
mustard micro-green pesto (recipe above)
vegetables (I used cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, red onions, and tomatoes)
olive oil
Simply Organic All-Purpose Seasoning
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

what you do
1. Brush outdoor grill with oil and bring to medium heat. Cut vegetables in chunks and place in medium bowl. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with Simply Organic All-Purpose Seasoning. Toss to coat.
2. Place vegetables in a grilling basket on the grill. If you don’t have a grilling basket, you can place a piece of tin foil on the grill, spray with oil, and put the veggies on that. Using tongs, turn the vegetables on occasion to prevent burning. They should have a nice brown “grilled” look, but not be burned. Remove to a heat-safe bowl.
4. Spread a layer of pesto on crusts and top with the roasted vegetables. Shred a small amount of fresh Parmesan cheese on top and place pizzas on oiled grill. If you used tin foil while grilling the vegetables, make sure you remove it first. Shut the lid and cook for 6 to 10 minutes. Make sure the bottom of the crust doesn’t burn. You may have to turn the grill temperature down. Keep an eye on it as the bottom can burn quickly.
5. Serve immediately.

Peace, love, and micro-greens!
Melissa

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11 Responses to “Mustard micro-green pesto (the best)”

  1. I recently saw micro-greens growing on a friend’s window sill and now I see you talking about their benefits. Plus a recipe to try (pesto is my favorite). This is just the nudge I need to try these little puppies. Thanks!

    • Melissa says:

      Megan,

      I’m a new advocate. I love these little things and they are packed with taste, goodness, and nutrition. They make excellent pesto. Give them a try and keep us posted. I can’t wait to try all the different varieties. I’m definitely on the micro-green bandwagon!

      Melissa

  2. I buy micro greens whenever they’re available around here. I don’t see them that often, but I do love them. Your description of the mustard micro greens makes them sound like something I’d love. And this pesto recipe of yours on salmon or grilled pizza? Well, either option has me weak in the knees!

    Happy Summer, Melissa!
    Shirley

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks for the comment, Shirley. I really like these little plants and am looking forward to a variety of them (one type each week) from my CSA share. I think it’s a great addition to our veggie, egg, and fruit share. I’m excited to experiment with pesto, smoothies, salads, and whatever else strikes my fancy. If you have any ideas, send them my way. =)

      Happy summer to you, too!
      Melissa

  3. shantel says:

    Love this idea of putting on fish! Thanks for sharing!

  4. m2o says:

    This micro-green growing in the window sill has me excited
    very much. But i don’t know where to get it, so i can grow it myself. I never saw it or heard of it b4 sofar. I
    am sprouting chia seeds all the time, its so super easy &
    fast, just 3 days & they taste better than alfalfa sprouts
    Thank you so very much for all your ideas, i am also doing the cilantro detox. I will make a whole bunch of little pots with cilantro now to give out to my friends
    along with the detox info. Everybody has mercury fillings
    & they drink these stupid aluminium cans pepsi colas or
    beers, which can be a disaster in a few years of alzheimer

  5. Alisa says:

    This looks amazing Melissa! Somehow, I have the feeling that you are a pesto queen. I’ve actually never tried microgreens. We just moved near a nice little co-op, I’m betting they have some.

  6. Maggie says:

    What a beautiful recipe! Simple and seasonal. Yum. We’ve been using garlic scapes in our pesto too. I just got three bunches from our CSA so we’ll be making your pesto this weekend (with a little nooch instead of parm). xo

  7. gorgeous! i love pesto! so fresh and delicious!

  8. Alta says:

    Yummy! I was just talking with the lady that runs my CSA this morning and she was telling me she plans to do microgreens too! Yay! This looks so good.

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