Tag Archives: salad

Micro Salad!

It’s January, and it’s been ages since my last post. Last year’s harvest was pretty pitiful due to the bad weather in the UK, a couple of  kilos of tomatoes, a few onions, a sack of new potatoes or two and (admittedly) endless courgettes and marrows (courgettes are immortal…I swear).  Hence the lack of posts in 2012!

This year we’re going to put up our plastic greenhouse and try to grow a few plants which can cope with the weather, I wanted to get started nice and early, with some plants to grow indoors!

I was wondering what to do with a whole bunch of seeds left over from the last couple of years, some of which are, apparently, “out of date.” I didn’t want to risk them not germinating in a spot up the plot, and I’ve bought new varieties this year so I decided to plant a whole bunch in a seed tray as “micro salad.”

Micro salad is basically cress from seeds which are more expensive than mustard cress seeds- think celebrity cress.

Here’s some fancy food with a “micro herb salad” atop it

CC image by Michelle Muirhead (flickr.com)

CC image by Michelle Muirhead (flickr.com)

Micro salad can really be created from any plants which will have tasty young foliage.  But popular varieties, selected for their taste and colour are:

-Mizuna

– Radish

-Carrot

-Coriander

-Purple Basil

-Beetroot

-Chives

-Endive

-Chicory

-Land Cress

-Pea Shoots

-Kale

-Radicchio

-Red Mustard Frills

-Celery

Called micro greens in the US, this trend seems particularly popular in the states, with a number of shops selling portions of these posh cressies online, and some UK firms even following the trend, and seed companies cashing in on micro equipment and seed varieties.

So this seemed like a great way to use up my old seeds and get a teeny crop to add some class to my dinners in just days.

So I got two old vegetable containers (no drainage holes, easy peasy), filled them with seed compost and sprinkled the seeds on top (I used lemon basil, mooli radish, spinach, beetroot, carrot and onion seeds), covered with a little more soil and kept moist and just a few days later look what peeked out-

Amsterdam, wills wedding, xmas 143 Amsterdam, wills wedding, xmas 146 Amsterdam, wills wedding, xmas 148

The green shoots are spinach, the red beetroot, I actually took these pics a few days ago and I know have some cresses ready to cut- a great idea if you need a few sprinklings of greenery for your daily sarnie but hate watching bags of salad mould away in the fridge, or if you have a posh dinner party coming up in a few weeks.

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Spicing up your bean burgers!

When you’re really busy I’ve found the old freezer favourite, bean burgers, can make a really nice veggie or vegan supper with just a few additions. It’s great if you need half an hour to do something when you get in after work as all these things can all be left cooking together for 30 mins. This is also pretty healthy, the bean burgers we get from the supermarket are only ~240 calories each!

I bung the bean burgers in the oven at around 200C, alongside another roasting tray with some sliced onion (use half a red onion for this, and save half for the potato salad below) and a sliced red pepper,  coated with a little olive oil and covered with foil, this is more a more energy-efficient way to cook than frying the onions as the oven is on already- and it takes less effort.

At the same time I boil some whole small new potatoes (no need to chop) for half an hour on the hob (maybe set these boiling just before you put the burgers in).

In a mixing bowl, I combine some light mayo (you could use vegan mayo if you’re so inclined) and a little olive oil and black pepper.

Chill out while everything cooks for 30 minutes, then drain the potatoes, and add them to the mayo/onion mix and break them up a little with a fork. Assemble the burgers with the roasted pepper and onion on top (bun optional), add a few slices of avocado, and put the potato salad on the side along with some green salad.

Voila! A weeknight feast. I have the low(er) carb version above, and James partakes of the supersize option below.

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