Christmas is officially here, which means office parties, family gatherings and over indulgence… Followed by the dreaded hangover. Despite the growing number of hangover and indigestion remedies from the chemist, the classic Bloody Mary remains the favourite for many. It’s an age-old drink that has been revitalising people since the 1920s. Enjoyed with vodka or without, it’s a pick-me-up of global acclaim. So, who would have thought that this humble hangover cure could be transformed into something even more magical? Piggly Wiggly chef, Christina Brown takes a stab at upgrading the classic cocktail into a nutrient-packed super-drink with this recipe for a Bloody Mary with microgreens.
Set deep in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, Piggly Wiggly is a popular destination for post-party breakfasts and next day wedding wind downs; hence, this wondrous concoction was born. “The Midlands is one of the top wedding destinations in the province, and we too have our own wedding venue. We also have patrons visiting us for breakfast the day after. The Bloody Mary is a popular choice for wedding goers” Chef Brown explains. “I decided to include radish to my recipe for its vitamin C component”. And right she is, forget hair of the dog, as registered dietician Katherine Megaw explains; “the radish’s main benefit is vitamin C which aids repair of all body tissues. It is best used fresh and therefore makes a perfect ingredient in a tomato cocktail.”
Once viewed as a humble garnish in avant-garde restaurants, microgreens are now being recognised for their value as a flavourful superfood with up to 40 percent higher concentrations of nutrients than older plants. “This is because all the nutrients the plant requires to produce a lifetime of fruit and vegetable is contained in the first shoot.” explains local producer Shaun Miller from Urban Micro Greens. “Microgreens should not be confused with sprouts that are the shoots of legumes, beans, chickpeas and lentils.”
Miller also cautions people to differentiate between products masquerading as microgreens “As soon a shoot starts growing the leaves for that particular plant, it starts to deplete it of nutrients” says Miller. This kind of product is called a baby leaf, and while it is also considered nutritious, it’s not as highly concentrated as a microgreen. “The leaves you see on microgreens will always be two leaves opposite each other (these are the cotyledons, an embryonic leaf in seed-bearing plants) one or more of which are the first leaves to appear from a germinating seed” he explains. “The first actual leaves of the plant will look nothing like the cotyledons you see on true microgreens.”
Recipe: Bloody Mary with microgreens
Here, Chef Brown shares her much loved recipe for your drinking (and recovery) pleasure. “This recipe is incredible simple. If you prefer a ‘regmaaker’ as a pick me up, you can add a shot of vodka” she points out.
1 tin tomato cocktail juice
20g red radish microgreens – save a few for decoration
Dash or two of Tabasco
2 to 3 dashes of Worcester
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the tinned tomato cocktail juice, Tabasco sauce, Worcestor sauce, salt and pepper along with the red radish micogreens in a food processor/blender and blend well. Add the vodka hereafter if you like.
Pour into a glass and top with lots of ice.
Sprinkle the reserved red radish microgreens to decorate.