In the midst of a glorious week of weather, I thought I would honor this sunny start to fall with a recipe just as bright! My Sunflower Superfood Salad is the perfect starter or snack as summer crops transition to fall’s harvest.
Whether served during a sun-spotted al fresco lunch, or on a crisp smoky September evening this salad’s perfect marriage of peppery baby kale greens, salty smoky sunflower seeds, earthy sunflower greens, and sweet sun-dried currants just sings with the fabulous flavors of fall!
Finished with a warmed lemon vinaigrette and a coating of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, this salad is a must-make, must-serve recipe for precisely right now… oh and a sunflower centerpiece is an easy and inexpensive addition that makes the meal taste just that much better. So enjoy this salad, the warm sun, and sunflowers for that matter, while September still lasts!
Sunflower Superfood Salad
makes 4 starter-size salad servings
1 bag/box of organic baby kale leaves
1 container sunflower micro greens (available at Whole Foods in season)
1 small bag unsalted raw sunflower seeds
1 small bag dried currants
1 tomato, cored & diced
1/2 red bell pepper, cored & diced
Juice of 1 lemon
dash of sherry vinegar
11/2 tsp maple syrup
generous pinch of salt & pepper
1-11/2 cups fruity Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano Cheese to garnish
1. Toast the sunflower seeds in a dry skillet or on a sheet pan in a 375 F oven for a few minutes just until you start to smell their aroma and they get lightly brown at the edges. Let cool on a plate or in a bowl.
2. In a small bowl make the dressing by combining the lemon juice, salt, pepper, dash of sherry vinegar, maple syrup gently with a whisk. Then while whisking pour in the olive oil in a steady stream and whisk to combine- set aside.
3. Combine greens, sunflower seeds, currants, and chopped tomato & red pepper in a large bowl.
4. Place the vinaigrette in the microwave for 40 seconds or warm gently in pan on the stove. Pour the warmed dressing over the salad and gently toss with hands to just combine.
5. Freshly grate a wedge of Pecorino Romano cheese over the entire salad, using your own judgement how much cheese you like on your salad.
6. Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Divide and serve immediately so the salad retains its a bit of its warmth.