One of the things I love very most about New York is the abundance of every type of food. Really, folks we have it all. People ask me why I like living here, and I launch into a diatribe about bagels, spices, bakeries, farmers’ markets, hummus, pearl sugar, and how pizzas with thin crusts really are better because of the superior topping-to-dough ratio. It’s almost embarrassing, since this city also has, you know, art and culture and fashion and all that stuff (which I also like). One of my favorite places to find new foods is the Union Square Greenmarket. I never leave without something that I’m ridiculously excited about.
One 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. And a salad was born.
To add a bit of crunch, I reached for some raw shelled pistachios I had on hand and decided to get all fancy (not really) and caramelize them, adding a hefty pinch of salt. Turns out, salty caramelized pistachios taste a bit like bacon bits. And that, friends, is what we call a happy accident.
Now, a note on those sunflower sprouts. Sprouts of all varieties are getting pretty trendy, so you’d likely be able to find them at a specialty market like Whole Foods. But they still fall into the category of what my darling friend Carrie emphatically calls “not normal people ingredients.” So does honeycomb. The good news is, you could easily some spring mesclun greens for the sprouts, or just use all spinach, and replace the honeycomb with a drizzle of honey.
But if you can get sunflower sprouts, they are worth trying. Here’s why: Sunflower sprouts have this wonderfully fresh, slightly sweet flavor that tastes like a blend of cucumbers, sunflower seeds, spinach, and the way sunflowers smell. They also have lots of protein, amino acids, zinc, and half an alphabet of vitamins, plus a wonderful, crisp texture. You can also grow your own, if you’re super ambitious like that.
My beef with salads is that they rarely fill me up without some added protein, so I added some greek yogurt swirled with a bit of honey as a base to build the salad on. (PRO TIP: Once you’ve added the fruit to the greens, you can reuse the bowl you sliced the strawberries & other fruit into without rinsing it for mixing the yogurt and honey—the leftover fruit juices add more flavor and a pretty pink tint.) I find it fabulous, but if yogurt is breakfast in your book, skip it. No hard feelings.
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Recipe card from rush-slowly.blogspot.com, the blog I founded in 2008. Feel free to pin or share, but please link back to Rush Slowly or Homemade Manhattan.