I've heard of flower head or torus (?) being cooked like artichokes. Can all varieties be used? Should they be harvested before the flower opens or before they develop seeds? Anything else I should know?
Sunflowers, Not Seeds, as Food
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Yes, as far as I know, all varieties can be eaten. However, these are best ingested while in the bud stage, when it tastes similar to artichokes and may be steamed like them as well. Once the flower opens, the petals may be used like chrysanthemums, blanch and then scatter the petals on a salad. The flavor is bittersweet.