"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Sunflower Sprout Surprise

by Julie on August 13, 2011

in Green Goddess

sunflower sprouts

The sprouts of sunflower

There’s a word for this, I know. If William Safire were still around he would know.

It’s when you learn a new word or concept, and then suddenly that word or concept appears all around you, and you wonder if it was always so and you just didn’t realize because you didn’t yet know said word or concept, or if it’s the universe trying to solidify this new knowledge in your brain for good measure.

It was like this last week with sunflower sprouts. Maybe the Germans have a word?

Sunflowers sprout? Who knew. I certainly didn’t. I’d never heard the term, read a recipe using them or seen the sprouts themselves. And then that Sunday morning I spent in the community garden picking tomatoes I overheard two women singing the praises of sunflower sprouts. I mean really waxing passionate. “They’re the best thing I’ve eaten!” said one woman. “SO fresh and unusual tasting.” The second woman nodded. “Yeah, they’re delicious. And so good for you.”

Huh. The very next day I ran across several recipes in the food blogosphere featuring sunflower sprouts, quite randomly. And then, on Thursday, at the uptown farmer’s market, I turned around and wham.

The sprout man.

I looked at his table. “Got any sunflower sprouts?” I asked. Nothing ventured, right?

“Right here!” he grinned, pulling a large crate of them out of the back of his truck. “Putting out a new batch right now. They’re going fast!”

And they did look nice; plump and fresh and inviting. I popped a couple in my mouth. Hmmm….fresh all right. With a very pleasing nutty sort of taste.  Kind of like a very concentrated sunflower seed.  So I went ahead and bought a pound of them (he gave me a nice discount) and took them home.

Now. What to do with my sprouts?

I queried the good folks on my Bad Home Cooking Facebook page (which you should run, like little bunnies, and join now!). An old high school friend wrote to suggest this lovely sounding Thai recipe for Sunflower Sprout Salad with chili-lime vinaigrette, but I didn’t have fish sauce and I don’t know what the heck evaporated cane sugar is. And I sure as hell wasn’t going into TJs a third time today to look for them.

So instead I kept it simple. I washed my sprouts, made a regular vinaigrette and tossed the whole thing lightly with Israeli feta and served with baked salmon and couscous.

It was a big hit.

Can’t help thinking though, that there are more spectacular things to be done with sunflower sprouts. Anyone care to make any wild suggestions? Now that I know about sunflower sprouts, and all.

Photo: Becky and The Beanstock

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious August 13, 2011 at 7:26 am

Pile them on your sandwich in place of lettuce.

You should try pea shoots (Dau Miu) as well. They are like the very best sugar snap pea flavor you have ever had. And they look cute, too! Always important in a food.


Julie R August 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm

I also make a sunflower sprout salad last week (& had never used them before) with vinaigrette, rosted beets, walnuts and goats cheese. It is still winter in the southern hemisphere so I wanted something a bit more substantial in texture than the ususal lettuce leaves.


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