Mixing it Up With MicroGreens

A Collaboration Between Mix Mix + Urban Produce

Urban Produce 1 Marconi  | Irvine, CA 92618 | 949.600.9888 | urbanproduce.com

Mix Mix Kitchen Bar 300 N Main St | Santa Ana, CA 92701 | 714.836.5158 | mixmixkitchenbar.com


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ou may have seen microgreens as a garnish on a dish recently or even sold in your local store. But microgreens are much more than the curly parsley sprigs chefs used to throw on as a finishing touch to a dish. Each variety has a delicate character and flavor all on its own. In fact, when people say microgreens, they aren’t referring to just one plant or type of leaf. And they most certainly are NOT sprouts. So what are microgreens exactly? We set out to explore where microgreens are grown and how a home cook can easily incorporate the latest food trend into their repertoire.

For starters, microgreen refers to an immature green that has sprouted from its seed but is not yet large enough to be classified as a baby green. Microgreens are literally the first few leaves that a plant generates (technically the cotyledon growth stage). And as such, there are as many different types of microgreens as there are types of leafy edible plants. Obvious choices that come to mind for microgreens are lettuce greens such as kale, swiss chard or arugula. However, as there are considerably more edible leafy plants than just these, chefs today can choose from microgreens of basil, radish, beet, broccoli, sunflower, and dozens of others: it’s just a matter of choosing what to grow and when to harvest. Pick microgreens too early, and they haven’t had a chance to develop their first leaves. Pick them too late, and they are already baby greens.

Urban Produce in Irvine is at the forefront of supplying microgreens to the Southern California market. They are also on the cutting edge when it comes to the future of agriculture since they use a unique indoor organic vertical farming technique. This sustainable practice allows the growers to transform a warehouse in an industrial complex into a farm that produces vertical towers with a high volume of microgreens (and wheatgrass) in a proportionally small space. And as the entire growing operation is indoors, they can control the variables that are uncontrollable on a traditional farm: mainly light, water and pests. Additionally, they can customize what they grow for the local market. So if a chef comes in and asks for a radish/basil/mint blend, within a few weeks, they can deliver the final product to their kitchen.

This plant is one of the things that brought Mix Mix Kitchen Bar Chef Ross Pangilinan to work with Urban Produce, as he had this specific request. Urban Produce, in turn, was able to grow precisely what he wanted for a specific dish. Since items on the menu at Mix Mix change regularly, Chef Ross can have a hand in not just creating the recipe but creating the ingredients he uses. Mix Mix’s concept is to gently mix the international flavors found in Southern California – from Mexican to Asian to American. With microgreens, he can add the final subtle flavor to a dish that will bring the international flavors together harmoniously. And with Urban Produce located nearby in Irvine, he can get live plants and trim the microgreens to order: the ultimate in farm- to-table produce.

Sometimes change happens in small ways. By growing microgreens locally, organically and sustainably, using them can be more than just a way to add some flavor or variety to a dish, but a way to be part of the future of agriculture. Microgreens also immediately elevate the presentation of any dish or make a solid component in a recipe all on their own. Urban Produce microgreens can be found at a variety of grocery stores including select Vons, Pavilions, Albertson’s, Ralph’s and of course, on dishes at Mix Mix. Readers can also buy them online at www.urbanproducedirect.com.



Market Fish Crusted With a Custom Blend of Microgreens

Served With White Soy & Kumquat Vinaigrette


Recipes Courtesy of Mix Mix Kitchen & Bar

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 Portions of your favorite fish
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 2 oz Urban Produce microgreens (can be a blend or single flavor)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Oil, for pan searing

Method: Season fish with salt and pepper, dip in micro greens, then in the eggs to coat the fish. In a hot pan, sear fish on all sides and cook till fish is cooked through.

White Soy & Kumquat Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz white soy (can sub with regular soy sauce)
  • 2 oz fresh kumquat juice (can sub with lemon or lime juice)
  • sugar to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 oz olive oil

Method:

Combine soy and juice, then season with sugar to balance the tartness. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in oil. Lastly, dress the fish with vinaigrette.


Urban Produce 1 Marconi  | Irvine, CA 92618 | 949.600.9888 | urbanproduce.com

Mix Mix Kitchen Bar 300 N Main St | Santa Ana, CA 92701 | 714.836.5158 | mixmixkitchenbar.com

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