leave your inhibitions at the door
Ahhh spring. Winter’s reign of terror is over and the flowers have come up and announced that warm, sunny days ahead.
The Farmers’ Market in Ann Arbor keeps going all through the year, but in winter it’s pretty slim pickings. Even now it’s still early in the growing season so there are more plants than there are fruits and vegetables. However I did manage to find something new to try – mustard microgreens from the Garden Works.
No trip to the Market is complete without visiting their booth. They usually have different types of greens or root vegetables (including Black Spanish Radishes), but my favorites are the different types of sprouts they sell – daikon, kale, arugula, etc. I love the sunflower sprouts which have a mild nutty flavor and add texture to burgers and sandwiches.
This time I bought mustard microgreens, which were a fascinating series of contradictions – big flavors from tiny leaves, fine threads but a crisp texture, initially mild taste finishing with strong, peppery flavors. I put together this little recipe for our wine tasting to pair with the Spatlese Riesling. It came out fantastic, but I honestly have no idea what to name it. So let’s just say it’s …
Mustard Microgreens with Asian Vinaigrette and Duck Breast Bacon on a Piece of Baguette
I served the microgreens on a lightly toasted slice of baguette as an appetizer. But I can see it going well on top of some poached white fish or shrimp or seared scallops. I was literally winging this so quantities are estimates. I had about 6 packed cups of the microgreens and this amount of dressing was MORE than enough. If you can’t get a hold of the microgreens, this dressing will work fine with Boston lettuce, served as a salad.
- 1/4 pound of duck breast bacon. I’ve never sent this anywhere else than Biercamp in Ann Arbor. If you can’t get a hold of some, I think prosciutto cut up in 3 x 1 inch pieces would work. Regular bacon would probably be too thick and add too much salt.
- Baguette, thinly sliced
For the dressing:
- Egg Yolk
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1. Gently cook the bacon or prosciutto over medium heat until crisp and transfer to paper towels.
2. Pour the fat into a resealable container or blender along with the rest of the dressing ingredients. Yeah, you read that right – DON’T WASTE THE FAT. What, you’re going to dump a few drops of tasty fat to save a negligible amount of calories?!
3. Shake vigorously or blend well.
4. Mix the dressing into the greens a little at a time. We’re talking microgreens here, so there’s no need to drench them.
5. Top a lightly toasted baguette slice with the bacon and then a pinch of the greens.
I didn’t think that this needed any additional seasoning. However, if you’re using it in a salad with lettuce, you may want to throw some white pepper or mustard powder into the mix.