The Microgreens Cookbook

The Microgreens Cookbook by Brendan Davison, Rizzoli 2017, hardback $39.95, 224 pages

Eat watercress and gain wit.

Greek Proverb

This old wisdom is even more true for microgreens–each little leaf grown lightly on the earth and packed with nutrition and flavor.

Hearty eaters might dismiss microgreens as elite rabbit food. Even more open-minded cooks might limit them to garnishes, but as Amanda Cohen points out in her foreword, these melt-in-your-mouth leaves add real flavor and texture.

And while Cohen talks about flavor, grower Brendan Davison talks about health–of soil, water, and people. All farmers know that soil is key to healthy yields. The differences come in how they get there–fertilizers or naturally.

And despite the name of his operation–Good Water Farm–Davison doesn’t grow hydroponically. He uses soil, “a living, nutrient-rich medium” to grow his microgreens, “the first true leaves of an herb or vegetable,” that appear within a few days of planting. It’s amazing that you can get so much flavor and nutrition in such a short time.

And you can do it yourself. In this book, Davison outlines the basics. He takes a zen approach–encouraging practice and focus to connect with the earth and food but if you want the sense of accomplishment that comes with harvest, he outlines the steps and shares his experience. Start with good organic soil and seeds, and then follow his tips on sowing, growing, and harvesting. Some, like sunflower, kale and pea are easy to grow while basils and cilantro are fussy and require more attention.

Davison is a meticulous grower and these are meticulous recipes. The’ve been tested and re-tested, all of them are plant-focused. You’ll find coconut-milk “ice creams,” a few fish recipes, smoothies and bowls. There are international flavors, like Carrot Rasam with Radish Microgreens and Aristocrat Tuna Poke, but mostly these are flavor-forward recipes like Roasted and Smashed Potatoes with Green Goddess-Style Tahini Dressing and Roasted Figs with Lemon Balm and Fennel Microgreens.

Clean, bright, and focused–the way we should always be in the kitchen, and in life.


About Appetite for Books

read, cook, eat, repeat
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