Easy-to-find, inexpensive, and nutrient-rich, sunflower seeds are one of my favourite additions to a number of dishes that I make, from breakfast to dinner and snacks in between. They are delicious toasted or soaked, blended up into seed butter or even milk!
What shocks me most of all about this blog favourite is how darn flavourful the dish is with such minimal ingredients. The caramelized onions and garlic are really all you need (in this dish, as well as life, I wager) although herbs would be a welcome addition; dried ones during cooking or fresh ones stirred in at the end. My version uses watercress as a finishing touch and is totally lovely with its peppery bite, but I will leave the brilliant blank canvas for you project your own inspiration on to.
Celebration Sunflower Seed Risotto
- 2 ½ cups / 350 g shelled raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil or ghee
- 2 medium onions finely diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- a generous pinch of sea salt
- 2-3 cups / 500 – 750ml vegetable broth
- Soak sunflower seeds overnight or all day in pure water with 2 tablespoons of sea salt.
- Drain and rinse sunflower seeds. Remove about 1 cup / 135g of the soaked seeds and place in a blender with 1 cup / 250ml water. Blend on high until completely smooth. Set aside.
- Melt coconut oil in a large stockpot. Add onions and sea salt, stir to coat and cook over medium-high heat until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add sunflower seeds and about 2 cups of the broth. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your seeds, adding more broth as needed. When cooked the seeds should be al dente: tender with only the slightest crunch still left in them. If there seems to be a lot of liquid left in the pot, let it simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes to evaporate the excess. Add the sunflower cream from the blender and stir to combine, and heat gently. Season to taste. Remove from heat and fold in a few generous handfuls of watercress.
- Blanch the vegetables in the same pot of salted water for approximately the time indicated, testing as you go. Do not overcook!
- To serve, place about a quarter of the risotto on each plate, then top with the vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. Top with extra watercress and enjoy warm.
8 spears white asparagus – 10 min
140 g. / 8 young carrots – 4 min
16 spears green asparagus – 3 min
1 cup / 150g shelled green peas – 2 min
handful per person watercress – stirred in right before serving