This page tells how to cook a sunflower, a big, 12 inch sunflower can make a delicious meal on the grill. A lot of vegans enjoy it. We all enjoy eating sunflower seeds as a nutritious and tasty snack.
Here at David's Garden Seeds®, we sell seeds to grow Mammoth Grey Stripe Sunflowers, the 12 inch sunflowers where the delicious sunflower seeds come from. They grow about six feet tall and make huge dinner plate sized sunflowers. Once the yellow flower petals come off, it is time to harvest the heads to grill. Do not let the seeds harden or you cannot cook the sunflower.
If you want to roast sunflower seeds, do not cut the flowers down until the seeds get hard. Once they get hard, let them dry inside so the squirrels and birds don't eat them. Then pluck them off and clean and let them dry.
In order to cook a sunflower, I mean the entire face of the sunflower, not just the seeds, you will need to find a fairly new sunflower that has just started to form seeds so they are soft. It should be fairly large in size. The Mammoth Grey Stripe is the perfect size. Don't let it grow for very much longer, once the head gets large.
Cut it down leaving a few inches of stem on the flower. Pull off any remaining yellow flower petals around the head. Take off the fuzzy middle where the seeds are. Using a kitchen brush should make this task easier. Leave the seeds on the flower.
Brush the entire sunflower head with lots of olive oil and then salt it down good with sea salt. Your grill should be preheated to medium heat. Place the sunflower face down on the grill and cover it. Let it cook for five minutes.
Take the sunflower head off of the grill. Add some more oil along with seasoning like a seasoned salt, pepper, basil, sun dried tomatoes or salsa, and enjoy. It is best to use a fork to eat it with so you don't get it all over your face.
You can cook sunflower buds by steaming them. (See the photo above for a what the bud looks like.) So when your sunflower plant is first forming buds, cut the buds off of the sunflower. Peel off the thick, green skin and steam them for three to five minutes and enjoy some tender deliciousness. Add butter and salt and pepper. Yum.
Once your sunflower face has gotten hard, exposing the stiff seeds, it is time to roast the seeds. First scrape as many off of the face as you can. Boil them in two quarts of water with two tablespoons of table salt for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and lay the in-the-shell seeds on a sprayed roasting pan or cookie sheet.
Roast them in a 400° oven for 10 to 15 minutes in a single layer. Test a few. If they seem good, pull them out. If you think they need a bit more roasting, let them bake for 2 to 3 more minutes at a time so they don't burn. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy.
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