Immature sunflower heads, prepared like artichokes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Italian, Native American
Keyword: Artichoke Substitute, Cooked Sunflower
Soup Pot, Sharp Paring Knife
1large green sunflower heador multpile smaller heads from a branching sunflower plant
1cupvegetable stock or water
Kosher saltto taste
Bring a quart of unsalted water to a simmer in a 2 qt sauce pan, then blanch the sunflower head for 3-4 minutes. Remove the sunflower bud from the pot, then transfer to a saute pan with the vegetable stock and a good pinch of salt. Cover the pan, then simmer until the sunflower bud is tender when pierced with a knife, about 3-4 minutes depending on size.
Make sure the buds are tender, since they won't be able to be cleaned properly otherwise. Allow the sunflower buds to cool, then transfer to a cutting board and trim with a paring knife first removing the outer leaves, then scraping out any flower petals from the inner portion of the bud.
Do not remove the base of the stem, it's a great part to eat, and is part of the plant. Transfer the buds to a container with a lid and refrigerate until needed if not using immediately. The recipe is easily scaled depending on how many heads you have.