I made this delicious spread nearly two-three months back. Yes, the pictures are that old too. I had been to Godrej Nature’s Basket’s new outlet at Ghatkopar once, and you know how they stock the best things when the outlet is recent. I found a pretty box of fresh microgreens in the herb section and it had a tag that read ‘sunflower shoots’. I imagined sprinkling it arounds salads, dropping a few here and there while styling some other monochrome foods that need a lot of imagination to look pretty on a plate. But when I delicately rinsed the greens the day after, I forgot about reserving some green for styling completely. The thick texture of the leaves seemed to make them good for the spread. I bit on a few leaves and found that the shoots were nutty, sweet, and juicy all at the same time, and the best feature was that they were very, very refreshing. I have found most shoots to have a bitter or astringent quality to them, but sunflower shoots do not have either. That is what renders them so perfect for a spread.
I make a lot of spreads and I am sure you know how much the members of the TT household love it. We smear them liberally on toast, on rotis, bhakris, smother our idlis and dosas with them, and generously scoop them onto crackers and papadams! Yes, we do. We are a little fanatical when it comes to using spreads. 🙂 It is rare not to find a pesto, a green spread or a hummus in my refrigerator.
This one is easy and I am sure you will have everything else but these greens in your pantry! Soon I will have them in a pot on my window sill too. The idea of getting greens from a mall is not as welcome as snipping them off your own little herb garden. For someone with a not-so-green-thumb getting these to shoot out of their seeds in a pot is one big challenge!
Sunflower shoots (tender) – 2 cups, with stems
Sunflower seeds – 2 tbsp., soaked in water for 15-20 minutes
Cashewnuts – 4-5, more if you would like it more creamy
Nutritional yeast flakes – 2 tbsp. (or as per taste)
Sea salt – to taste
Water – just enough to blitz and bring the mix to a spreadable consistency
The shoots came with soil so I cut them off on the surface with kitchen scissors and rinsed lightly to remove the soil. Set aside on a towel to let off the excess water.
Place in a chutney grinder with the sunflower seeds, cashewnuts, a little salt and water. Blitz till creamy or textural, as per your liking. Spoon the mix from the sides and blitz again till the required consistency is reached.
Remove into a bowl, add the nutritional yeast flakes, and adjust the salt and water.
A drizzle of extra virgin olive would not hurt. Some crispy capers or a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds are very tasty too.
Since I toasted the bread slices with drops of olive oil I could not bring myself to add any to the spread, and, honestly there is no need.