by Emily Mancini |

If you missed your chance to experience some world-famous, Long Island-grown flavors at last year’s Island to Table event, you’re in luck.

Koppert Cress will once again be contributing their renowned microgreens and microvegetables to the Island to Table outdoor fundraiser dinner July 30, 2017, on Terry Street in Patchogue.

Microgreens are the tiny, edible greens grown from the seeds of vegetables and herbs.

Unlike baby greens, which are simply smaller versions of fully-grown plants, microgreens are generally harvested within two weeks of germination, a time when they are at peak flavor and nutrition content.

The USDA Agricultural Research Service found that, on average, microgreens contain up to five times the amount of key nutrients of their fully-grown counterparts.

Though the nutrient boost is a definite plus, chefs love the decorative flair, unique textures, and intense flavors that microgreens have to offer.

Microgreens first started appearing on the menus of California’s top chefs in the late 1980s — though options were limited to conventional greens like arugula, basil, beets and cilantro.

That’s when Rob Baan, owner of the Koppert Cress company, came onto the scene.

A gourmand since early childhood, Baan traveled the world in search of the most flavorful and unique greens he could find.

Fast forward 20 years, and Koppert Cress grows over 60 different types of microgreens to supply the world’s top restaurants and various celebrity chefs, including Ferran Adria, head chef of El Bulli restaurant in northeastern Spain, often lauded as one of the greatest restaurants in the world.

Koppert Cress operates several state-of- the art greenhouses in Baan’s native Netherlands and one right here in Long Island, off Route 48 in Cutchogue. The greens range from the familiar — Italian basil, mint, chives, cilantro — to the downright extraordinary, like Koppert Cress’ specialty Sechuan Buttons, tiny yellow buds that send electrifying tingles across the tongue.

Koppert Cress has been featured in The New York Times, The Suffolk Times, News 12 and the Washington Post.

For Island to Table, chefs Richard Kanowsky, Terri Novak, Radu Grigore, Jason Tepper, and Bernie Mendez will all be using a variety of greens and herbs from Koppert Cress’ Cutchogue greenhouse in their dishes, including fresh pea shoots and basil.

Last year’s Island to Table event raised $9,211 for Homegrown Change, a nonprofit organization that works with local schools and community groups to grow food and native plants using organic and sustainable methods.

Tickets for Island to Table 2017 are $150 each (available below) for the six-course meal.

Each course will be paired with a local beer or wine.

Top Photo and information below by Carrie Miller/The Suffolk Times

ROCK CHIVES CRESS
Origin: East Asia
Flavor: chive and mild garlic
A member of a flowering plant family that includes onions, garlic and lilies, it was discovered more than 5,000 years ago in the mountains of China. Read more