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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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