My New Roots' Inspirational Sunflower Seed Risotto

January 5, 2016

Author Notes: Sunflower seeds are just like other nuts and seeds that we can soak, then blend into rich, magical dairy-free milks and creams. Plus, we can cook and flavor it just like rice, too. Combine the two for a risotto-like dish that will be a warming supper, a filling make-ahead lunch, and a dinner party conversation starter.

Adapted slightly from Sarah Britton of My New Roots
Genius Recipes

Serves: 4



  • 2 1/2 cups shelled, raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinches sea salt
  • 2 to 3 cups water (or good-tasting vegetable broth)

Vegetables and toppings

  • Assorted seasonal vegetables, like carrots, radishes, Romanesco broccoli, plus frozen green peas (or fresh, in season)
  • Handful of watercress per person (stirred in before serving)
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Lemon wedges
  • Flaky sea salt
In This Recipe


  1. Soak sunflower seeds overnight or all day in pure water with 2 tablespoons of sea salt.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 water. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your seeds, adding more water 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.
  4. Chop the vegetables into manageably-sized pieces, and blanch in succession in the same pot of salted water till crisp-tender, testing as you go. Do not overcook!
  5. 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.

More Great Recipes:
Risotto|Bean|Seed|Vegetable|Make Ahead|Spring|Fall|Summer|Winter|Gluten-Free|Vegetarian|Vegan