Sunflower seeds on salads used to be a thing back in the seventies. They are easy to overlook with all the other choices out there like walnuts, pine nuts, pepitas, or hazelnuts. But they’re still good! And healthy, and inexpensive; I should use them more often.
A few weeks ago at the grocery outlet I bought some Clawson Cotswold Double Gloucester Cheese with Chives and Onions. The owners of the outlet told me they’d already gone through several chunks of it themselves, and indeed I loved it. It’s very creamy and has a strong chive/onion flavor. Not long after that I was happy to see that Trader Joe’s also has Cotswold Double Gloucester and I picked up another chunk. The only sad thing: my husband doesn’t like it! So it won’t be a regular in our salads, I guess.
The first time I made this salad I included chickpeas for their flavor and the extra protein as I often do. But when I made the salad again and photographed it I forgot the chickpeas, darn! But try it that way if you like. Between the chickpeas, cheese, avocado and sunflower seeds, this is a filling and flavorful salad. I dressed it very simply with just a little olive oil and vinegar. Enjoy!
- 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1½ Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- several grinds of black pepper
- salt or salt flakes to taste
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
- 2 oz. Cotswold Double Gloucester cheese, cut into small cubes
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted, sliced, cut into small pieces
- 6 oz. salad greens, washed and torn into small pieces, or baby salad greens
- (1/3 cup chickpeas, optional, not illustrated)
- Dry-toast sunflower seeds in a pan over medium heat for about three minutes, stirring constantly, until they are starting to crackle and brown.
- Cut cheese into small cubes.
- Wash, spin, and tear salad greens.
- Put salad greens in a large bowl.
- Add dressing ingredients to salad greens, toss.
- Serve onto dinner plates.
- Sprinkle sunflower seeds on salad, then arrange cheese cubes, avocado pieces, and chickpeas, if using, on top.
- Makes two large or three medium sized salads.