Sunflower buds have been one of the many great finds of this summer.
I first mentioned them in this post and this will be a relatively short update following an experiment. A few weeks ago, I stopped by the good folks at the Hawthorne Valley Farm stand at one of the NYC Greenmarkets and mentioned sunflower buds. One of the vendors suggested making pesto with them.
Back West, I set out to try this out after finding more of them at the SF Ferry Building Farmers Market. I put about 3 cups of steamed buds, olive oil, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, a little garlic, a little water, salt and pepper into the food processor. I added just enough oil to keep the mixture smooth but not loose like some pestos, so as to keep it ubiquitous: pesto with added oil when mixed with pasta, spread on toast.
I had recently brought back from the SF Farmers Market a gigantic and beautiful heirloom tomato which I had yet to cut open.
So the first test drive with this spread was on a toasted slice of gluten-free bread with a dash of lemon juice and few slices of that heirloom tomatoe. The result was a happy and tasty combination, and a good base for veggie variations on the BLT.
Truly sorry to see sunflower buds go out of season soon!
By the way:
- Sunflower buds are quite aromatic and their taste may be strong at first, but after a day it weakens.
- You can play with the proportions to your taste.
- The spread will keep quite a few days refrigerated.
- A little shallot or (sautéed even) diced onion could be added to the mix, as well as herbs.
- All gluten-free, dairy-free!