This recipe was written and sent by Jérémie Rentien Lando.
“Of all the recipes I know, this one is surely the one I have cooked the most. The main reason is that it asks only for 2 ingredients: parsley, which you can easily grow a lot of in a flower pot, and sunflower seeds which you can store in your cupboard for years. What I like, in all honesty, is that it is one of the cheapest sauce you could make. Parsley and sunflower seeds are often respectively the cheapest herb and the cheapest seed you can find in a shop, even if they are of premium quality and grown locally.
Another good reason to cook this recipe is that it does not contain any animal-based products but, thanks to the sunflower seeds, turns into a real spreadable cream. This cream can be eaten cold and thick like a fresh herby jam, but can also take on heat. I usually dilute it with a bit of warm water and have it as a sauce with buckwheat pasta, or folded into warm green peas. For all theses reasons I adore it.”
Jérémie Rentien Lando
About the Sunflower
For many archeologists, the sunflower would have been cultivated by native american tribes before corn did. Brought back from North America by European invaders, ‘Helianthus annuus’ was first introduced as an ornamental exotic flower. The scale of its contemporary production is, however, the result of a silly oversight…
In the XVIIIth century, the Russian Orthodox Church partook in a religious practice called “Lent”. Preceding the Easter Sunday celebrations, this practice called, among other things, on fasting and the ban of many fats as well as animal-based products during 40 days (which basically meant turning vegan). The list of banned substances however did not mention the Sunflower, which involuntary popularized the consumption of its oil.
Russia and Ukraine quickly became the world’s biggest sunflower producers. With Russian immigrants crossing Europe to reach the US in the 1930’s, the sunflower spread west to become one of the main sources of oil in the Western World, leading it to even replace lard. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the sunflower became the symbol of the NGO “Vegan society”!
P.S: Sunflowers don’t actually follow the Sun’s route during the day, they just grow searching for light and all end up looking in the most optimal direction, the East.
1 large bunch of flat leaf parsley
1 large handful of sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1.5 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons of warm water
To make the cream more dense and peppery, you can add a large handful of rucola. You can also swap the cider vinegar for lemon juice and zest.
- Pick the leafs and thin stems of the parsley.
- Blend all the ingredients together with a soup plunger for minimum 5 minutes.
- The cream is ready.
- Note: you need a few minutes for the fat of the sunflower seeds to emulsify with the water and the vinegar.
The cream looses in bright green color quite quickly. If you’re not using the cream in the next 4 hours, you can freeze it until needed.
- This refers to Jesus fasting in the desert for 40 days.
- If you have a good blender, you can keep the stems whole. Since I don’t have one of those, I keep the thickest stems for my vegetable scrap stock (check out Fanny Heneault’s recipe titled “The scraps stock” from the Soak until soft collection).