Olivia Dish

A Sunflower Salad

In Homemade, Local Flavor on March 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm
sunflower salad

Sunflower sprouts, seeds, and Jerusalem artichoke slices tossed with greens

I have recently fallen head over heels for sunflower sprouts, thanks to a gift from my friend Whit DeSpoon.

Now that an in-town farm is growing them and I know where to get a steady supply, I find myself daydreaming about those adorable sprouts, the last time I saw them, and when we’ll be meeting for dinner again.

In one of those dazy-eyed moments, I had a little thought.

I’ve always loved Jerusalem artichokes, which are sunflower roots. (My parents used to make relish with them.)

Now I love sunflower sprouts.

What if I whipped up a sunflower-themed salad–seeds, sprouts, roots?

I’d be sort of like those people who use the pig snout to tail, right?

You say sunchoke? I say Jerusalem artichoke.

I toasted some sunflower seeds and tossed them in with the sprouts, thinly-sliced raw Jerusalem artichoke, and mixed salad greens.  If I’d been thinking, I might have used sunflower oil for my dressing–but I went with a basic olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.  And a side of roasted chicken.

It was good–but not great. The Jerusalem artichoke kind of got lost in the salad. So did the sprouts for that matter. Those darned little toasted sunflower seeds were not only delicious but downright Napoleonic in their assertiveness. They pretty much took over.  I wondered if perhaps I had tried for too much. Maybe it was too cute. Was it better to enjoy one sunflower part at a time?

That was a couple of nights ago. Now I had all the elements in the refrigerator, and I needed to consume them while they were still edible. I also had a roasted beet in there.

Sunflower sprouts from City Roots

Instead of less, looked like I was going with more.

I tossed the salad greens, the sprouts, and diced beet together.

I toasted some walnuts and some sunflower seeds in a pan.  After I killed the flame, I threw Jerusalem artichoke slices into the still-hot pan.

I mixed up another vinaigrette, dumped the seeds and slices on top of my salad, poured on the dressing and–wow.  The sprouts, though two days old, tasted better. As did the lightly toasted Jerusalem artichokes.

I guess this time, the whole was at least as good as the sum of its parts, that more was more not less. Or as my little niece used to say, more better.

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