Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Summer Salad with Sunflower Sprouts, Stone Fruits, & Carmelized Pistachios

It is a truth universally acknowledged that New Yorkers love New York. Perhaps not always, perhaps not everything, and yes, you will hear plenty of griping about subways/heat/tourists/how expensive everything is, but generally speaking, I'm not sure if there's any city more enamored with itself. (Texas is still-winning in the narcissistic state category, of course.) But, fuhgeddaboutit. Markets not intended for tourists even sell bread like this, which I promptly purchased because I truly do {heart} NY.

One of the things I love very best about New York is the abundance of every type of food. People ask me why I like living here, and I launch into a diatribe about bagels and spices and farmers' markets and hummus and how thinner crusts really are better because of the superior topping-to-dough ratio. It's almost embarrassing, since this city also has, like, art and culture and fashion and all that stuff. But I am convinced that you could find just about any ingredient that has ever been cooked with somewhere in this metropolis if you just knew where to look, and that is just one reason why even my bread proclaims my love for this crazy city. One of my favorite places to find new foods is the Union Square Greenmarket. I never leave without some kind of produce or product that I'm ridiculously excited about.

This last weekend, it was honeycomb. Not the cereal, not that I have anything against that. But really, honest-to-goodness goodness, fresh from the hive honeycomb. I love it, but I wanted to figure out how to eat it without the wax getting distracting. While pondering this, I stumbled across stalls hawking peaches, plums, herbs, and—my new favorite green thing—sunflower sprouts.

While making this salad, I decided it needed a crunch factor, preferably one with some salty savor. I had some raw shelled pistachios on hand and decided to give them some extra punch by carmelizing them and adding a hefty pinch of salt. Turns out, salty carmelized pistachios taste a bit like bacon bits. I love happy accidents.

Sunflower sprouts have this wonderfully fresh, slightly sweet flavor that tastes like a blend of cucumbers, sunflower seeds, spinach, & the way sunflowers smell. They also have lots of protein and a wonderful, crisp texture. I realize sunflower sprouts might not be available everywhere; I think a nice mesclun lettuce blend would also be tasty. You can also grow your own.

I loved how many flavors, textures, and colors this salad brought together the salty crunch of the pistachios played with the lush bursts of honey from the comb and the creamy greek yogurt, sweetened with a bit of honey, balanced the acidity of the vinaigrette. With the nuts, yogurt, and awesome-for-your-bod sunflower sprouts, this salad packs quite a bit of protein, plus a healthy dose of vitamin c, iron, and essential amino acids. 

Which clearly means, if you have this for lunch, you can have a larger helping of molten chocolate cake after dinner. More on that later. 

If you hadn't noticed, this new recipe card thing is new! I made it myself. I feel like a new mother, except that I want to share this creation with you and let you share it as well. I am also much more well-rested than a new mother. But, the point is, you can drag it to your desktop and print it or pin it or whatever. Just please give credit where it is due if you do. Thanks!

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