A simple way to use your Purslane Pea Microgreen Pesto.
Microgreen Pesto Appetizers
- crackers of choice
- Tomato slices
- Mozzerella slices
- Purslane Pea Microgreen Pesto
- Balsamic glaze
- Edible flowers (optional)
- Stack and serve!
A simple way to use your Purslane Pea Microgreen Pesto.
Purslane is a weed to some but a nutritious, edible plant to those in the know! This plant is known as one of the most nutritious plants on the planet, providing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a boatload of minerals, vitamins, and micronutrients. Add microgreens to pesto with purslane and you have super-powered nutrients.
We eat purslane all through summer, cooked in a variety of ways, or raw in salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. It is also the subject of many of our creative new recipes. The whole plant is edible: leaves, stalks, flowers, and seeds.
We grow it in our outdoor garden boxes where it happily fills in all the spare ground. This serves multiple purposes: acts as a groundcover to retain water in the hot sun, keeps the chickens from digging in the dirt, and is a limitless supply of nutrients as it quickly fills in any that we harvest.
Foraging for purslane is possible in most states. It grows in many different environments and is easily overlooked. However, as there are look-alikes, be sure to confirm the identity of your purslane before consuming. Some varieties of purslane are sold in garden centers with different colored flowers. All purslanes are edible, whether container grown or wild.
Here is a microgreen recipe to get you started with purslane. Loosely based on an Argentinian chimichurri with pesto overtones, I have christened it Purslane-Pea Microgreen Pesto
We live in potato country. There are potato fields all over here in southeastern Idaho, and in the fall most farmers are open to having people ‘glean’ their fields after the mechanical harvest is over. It is a way for teenagers and groups to make a little money and keeps potatoes from rotting in the fields.
I always buy a couple of 50lb sacks of fresh potatoes, and the first meal every year is this wonderful, tasty, potato soup. Full of creamy goodness and rich in many nutrients, especially when you add a handful of microgreens, this is the perfect fall and winter meal. Or spring, or summer…whenever you feel the urge for an easy, tasty soup.
Pair it with a crusty loaf of bread and a cool glass of freshly squeezed apple cider.
This is one of the easiest and most nutritious breakfasts to make on lazy summer days- with only one dish to wash, and no stove or oven needed! My grandchildren make these all by themselves when they come to visit, adjusting the recipe to their own particular taste. One adds chocolate chips, one adds hot cinnamon candies (and chocolate chips), and another likes it with extra fruit (and chocolate chips) and dipped in maple syrup. It is an easy and adaptable breakfast or snack. Jump to Recipe
The flour in this recipe is where your nutritional creativity can really shine. Start with a whole-grain flour and add whatever other flour you have around- almond flour, squash flour, bean, or any other flour. Each type of flour adds a different nutritional profile. Adding a vegetable flour gives you another serving of vegetables for the day. You can purchase vegetable flours in specialty shops, or make your own. I dehydrate lots of winter squash each fall and grind up several gallons to use throughout the year. I also add 1/2 cup of chia seeds to every 3 cups of my ‘pancake’ mix as well and store it in a large jar.
For the grandchildren, I fill a plastic peanut butter jar with the dry mix and leave it on the counter for easy access. I also pre-chop the microgreens and leave them in a covered container in the refrigerator. This gives them the joy of making their own breakfast ‘from scratch’ with almost no help or supervision.
To make the microwave pancake, just mash half of a banana in a microwave-safe bowl, beat in a fresh egg and a handful of chopped microgreens, and then stir in two tablespoons of the flour or flour mix. Pop the bowl into a microwave for 90 seconds, and breakfast is ready!
I like to top mine with a spoonful of plain yogurt and perhaps a little jam or some chopped fruit. The children often like to dip it into elderberry or maple syrup. It’s a great way to start the day that can be leisurely enjoyed or scooped up and eaten on the run.
This can easily be turned into a dessert by adding a tablespoon of honey, a little vanilla, and chocolate chips. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and you have a lovely, quick sweet treat.
This is a great choice for a quick snack that even the youngest chefs can put together. The grater can be hard on little fingers, so give some help with the grating- and then step out of the way, because this is going to be the favorite go-to snack that children can easily make themselves with little help.
Yes, I know- carrots are not something you have experienced on a quesadilla before, but give it a try- you will be astounded by the sweet and savory flavor it brings to the cheese and microgreens. Seriously- try it!
Start with a tortilla (whole wheat is best), and sprinkle grated cheese on one half of it.
Spread a grated carrot over the cheese. Chop up a handful of microgreens and spread them over the carrot. Take another quarter cup of grated cheese (or more) and spread on top of the microgreens.
Fold the tortilla over and microwave it for 1 minute. That’s it!
Variety is the spice of life and adding new microgreens to the lineup is an adventure for the senses. I’ve been experimenting with curly cress to see if it was as great as it’s promoters make it out to be- the next best thing to watercress.
Curly cress is also known as garden cress or ‘pepper grass’. It has a sharp, pungent, flavor that is reminiscent of watercress. A tasty addition to many dishes, it gives a unique flavor and a ‘zing’ to a dish without the burn of nasturtium leaves. It has a pleasant aftertaste and no lingering bite for those of us spice-wimps. Curly cress is a good match with eggs, in rice dishes, on sandwiches, hors d’oeuvres, tossed in salads or sprinkled on pizza. It is a microgreen that is definitely worth growing and experimenting with.
I have been working on developing recipes to highlight the unique taste of curly cress. This one, ‘Easy Fried Rice with Microgreens’ has become one of our favorites. We took a big batch to a family potluck, expecting to have plenty of leftovers. I came home with an empty pan- even the kids had seconds! However, this dish is equally as good with radish microgreens, so if you are fresh out of curly cress, experiment with radish or other microgreens as well.
I am a fan of brown rice with its fiber, good taste, and b vitamins. I use brown rice in this recipe but it works just as well with white rice. I also like pea microgreens chopped up and added at the end along with a healthy handful of cress- the taste of the pea microgreens along with the frozen peas (or fresh peas in the summertime) is lovely, and the added nutrition turns this into a powerhouse of a meal.
When the tomatoes are bountiful at the Farmer’s Market- or the backyard- it’s time to make tomato soup! Adding a big handful of microgreens, a touch of honey, and a taste of balsamic vinegar turns this staple into a gourmet feast. My favorite microgreens in this recipe is a mixture of pea, sunflower, buckwheat, and radish.
Fresh garlic makes all the difference in this recipe, and garlic scapes can also be used to give it a slightly different nuance.
When I need this to be gluten free I use corn starch as a thickener. Flour can be used instead of the cornstarch- just double the amount.