Q: Which herb did Shakespeare say improved recollection?
A recent spell of bad weather in NSW has affected the quality of local herb crops, with varieties such as sage and oregano tending to blacken quickly. So, while we wait for the summer weather to catch up to the summer menu, why not let our delicious range of microgreens step up to the plate?!
Simon George & Sons sources our microgreens from Flowerdale Sprout Farm in Victoria as they produce top quality plants that are consistent in size, flavour and presentation all year round. Microgreens are herbs (or brassicas) that are harvested when the first adult leaves begin to appear. Picking at this immature stage has two benefits. Firstly, the natural oils in the plant are still highly concentrated resulting in a more intense, less bitter/woody flavour than the mature herb. Secondly, the plants are beautifully presented with small leaves, buds and delicate stalks that make them suitable for even the finest gourmet presentation. Also with over 40 varieties currently available, chefs are able to blend different herbs to create signature dishes full of vibrant colour and authentic flavour.
Flavour: Intense, clean clove flavour and fragrance
Best use: Italian- fresh or added late in the cooking process
Background: One of the most popular herbs in the world, Basil is synonymous with Italian cuisine (though in actuality it originated in far east Asia across India, Pakistan and Thailand)
CHARD: aka Bull’s Blood
Flavour: Beety, earthy flavour
Best use: Fresh in salads
Background: Considered to be one of the most nutritious vegetables in the world, as a microgreen it offers exciting colours and delicate earthy undertone to a variety of dishes
CORIANDER LEAVES: aka Cilantro/Chinese Parsley
Flavour: Intense and distinct spicy flavour, (touch of anise and pepper)
Best use: Asian or South American cuisine- garnish on curries or chillies- fresh in salads, sushi, rice-paper rolls
Background: A member of the carrot family, Coriander is native to Southern Europe and the Middle East. The leaves are often referred to as Cilantro while Coriander is the names for the seeds.
RED SHISO: aka Purple Mint, Japanese basil or Wild Coelus
Flavour: Sweet and spicy
Best use: Fresh in salads, soup or as a garnish.
Background: Shiso is the Japanese name for this plant which was traditionally used to dye pickled ume or mix with ume paste in sushi
Flavour: Nutty, peppery flavour
Best use: Salads, sandwiches garnish
Background: Only raw broccoli (yum) has more vitamin C and magnesium than watercress gram for gram
INSPIRATION FROM OUTSIDE THE BOX (PUNNET):
Carrot: Boast a delicate carrot flavour, perfect for salads or garnish
Chives: A fantastic way of adding that onion flavour to a dish without the pungency. Boasts a strong, slightly sweet flavour
Dandelion: Far from the Dandelion & Burdock of yesteryear, these wide flat leaves can be used as an alternative to rocket as they have a slight peppery finish
Lemon Balm: These beautiful furry, serrated leaves deliver a citrus aroma and flavour that is perfect for desserts or beverages (cocktails)
Mache: Also called Cornsalad, Mache has sweet, nutty leaves that are velvety and bright and therefore perfect as a garnish
Borage Cress– perfect for adding that cucumber edge to a G&T
Shallot Cress– mix with grassy Australian olive oil to add a nutty, onion flavour to a salad
Melon Cress– a great option for desserts, this as a definite rockmelon flavour perfect for use in sorbets or a garnish
The Flowerdale microgreens stocked by Simon George & Sons are supplied in ‘Living Open Pots’, which offer good shelf life and convenience of use. The plant sits in a composted bark mix with nutrients essential to its growth delivered in a liquid form during the watering process. Being soil free you can just snip them out of the pot using scissors and give them a gentle wash prior to use. Its best to store the pots out of the fridge (somewhere cool) and use within five days. Once cut, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator where they will keep for up to two weeks.
For more information on our microgreen range please contact Simon George & Sons.
A: Can’t remember? Then you need some rosemary! Long before Red Bull gave you wings, the Ancient Greeks and Romans wore garlands of rosemary to help improve their memory and revive the spirits. To this day it is still worn as a symbol of remembrance.