March 03, 2012

Grow your own salad

We're on the last leg of winter and I am craving sunshine and greens like there's no tomorrow! These days, I'm all about microgreens. What is a microgreen you may be wondering? Well, it's tiny and it's cute with small tender leaves. Basically it's a baby vegetable seedling that makes a very pretty and tasty salad. They're big in the restaurant-biz. And they're super easy to grow on your own.

I used to grow my own sprouts in a jar through the winter months since it's a great way to keep eating locally at a time of year when most greens are shipped all the way from California (not so great for the old carbon footprint). But the sad truth is, I really don't actually LIKE sprouts very much. Never have, and probably never will.  

Microgreens on the other hand, just a wee step above sprouts in the growing process, are delicious. And as easy to grow as sprouts. All you need is a flat container, some soil, some seeds, a little spot at your window, and a willingness to keep them regularly watered.  

To grow, simply place 1 to 2 inches of nice organic soil in a shallow tray with drainage holes (I often repurpose food packages like styrofoam mushroom containers and salad mix plastic tubs). Generously scatter the seeds on top of the soil. It's ok to plant more seeds than you would if you were gardening because microgreens should grow fairly densely so you get a nice harvest from them. Scatter a small amount of soil to very lightly cover the seeds. Water gently so that all the soil is moist. (Make sure there's something underneath to catch the water that drains out). Place is a warm-ish bright place that receives plenty of daylight. Keep the soil nicely moist by watering regularly, though don't overwater and drench the soil. Your seeds will germinate in 4 to 7 days and your greens should be ready in 2 to 3 weeks. 

It took me just over a week to grow these lovely greens. I used rapini, sunflower, and broccoli seeds but you here are some other seeds that work well for microgreens:

  • beets
  • red and green cabbage 
  • radish
  • arugala
  • mustard
  • spinach
  • any kind of herbs

To name only a few possibilities! I'm no expert yet, so here and here are a couple of great resources if you're interested in finding out a lot more about the process. 

Be sure to check out the powerful anti-cancer properties of broccoli sprouts

(Serves 1 to 2 people)


1 cup or more of microgreens of your choice
1 blood orange cut into small pieces
1/2 avocado cubed
1/2 cup of julienned daikon radish
1/4 cup walnut pieces

1 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove chopped garlic (optional)
A dash of salt and pepper

Toss all the salad ingredients together. Shake the dressing ingredients in a lidded jar. Dress, toss, and serve! (Great with a soft-boiled egg)

...My rapini greens got bedhead! (I overgrew these a little and undergrew the ones in the video. But I've got a batch of broccoli babies going right now which I hope to get just right).


  1. Beautiful!! I love it with the eggs :) I've been telling Dom we need to start sprouting again, maybe we should also try microgreens?


  2. I can't wait for Spring either! This looks absolutely delicious!

    I was wondering if you would you be interested in sharing your articles with other like- minded people in the Toronto Foodie Scene. We are building an online community of local bloggers who write about topics related to the urban food scene in the city.

    If you are interested and want to learn more about this, please send an email to


  3. Mmmmm. Aube, you're so inspiring! If I can get me some soil, I'm totally gonna make this salad this week. So fresh and so springy. So long winter blahs!!

  4. This is such a fun and yum video. Great job! Just discovered your bog. Love it

  5. I am so excited about growing greens. Rapini sprouts sound amazing. Thanks for the inspiration.