Iron Chef: Sunflower sprouts

What the heck is that?

What the heck is that?

I belong to a CSA farmshare. In short, this means that I pay around $20 a week to get a mystery basket of fresh veggies from a local farm. What I get is totally dependent on what the farmer has and I don’t get to choose anything, so I am always challenged by some of the crazy vegetables that show up in my weekly basket.

Last week, I got those funny looking sprouts above. Luckily I get an email each week that describes what I’m getting so they told me it was sunflower sprouts. When I looked up what to do with them, most hits said to eat them raw, but those leafy guys were thick. Like bean sprouts. Look at ’em! I tasted a piece and just wasn’t feeling it. Too much texture for my preferences. I left them perched by the window until I could figure out what to do.

As you might have heard, we have a little bit of weather problem right now.

On the first morning after being snowed in, I snipped off all the sprouts. It was about 3 cups worth of greens and I steamed them with a little chicken broth (which I made the day before while it was snowing). They cooked down to this little handful, about a half cup.

cooked sunflower sprouts

cooked sunflower sprouts

I mixed in an ounce of reduced fat cream cheese and plopped it into an omelet. Half an omelet with a slice of olive bread – a hearty breakfast to fuel some heavy duty shoveling. Ahem. Not that I did any shoveling that day.

a sunflower omelette

a sunflower omelet

What did the greens taste like? When it was raw, it had a vaguely nutty taste. I guess like sunflower seeds? Though that could just be placebo because I knew it was from a sunflower. In the omelet, I couldn’t put my finger on it but I thought it tasted very savory, like something you would taste in Asian food. Meanwhile, my husband thought it tasted like seaweed – which incidentally can be found in Asian food so there you go. I can’t say that I would seek them out and buy them regularly but I am always excited to try a new ingredient and will keep it in mind if I ever need to forage for food Survivorman-style.

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