It is not often that a recipe blows my mind and I get so excited about it I can hardly wait to share here… This is not rice-based. There is no rice at all. The whole concoction is made with sunflower seeds, soaked for several hours. It is absolutely delicious, hearty but considerably lower in carbs. The starting point for my version was a recipe from Naturally Nourished, by Sarah Britton. I was not sure the husband was going to like it that much, but he thought it was one of the tastiest side dishes I’ve made in the recent past. So there you go!
SUNFLOWER SEED “RISOTTO” WITH EDAMAME
(inspired by Naturally Nourished)
2 cups raw, unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds
1 tsp salt, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 fennel bulb, diced small
2 cups vegetable stock (you won’t need the full amount)
frozen edamame, about 1/2 cup or amount to taste
Soak the sunflower seeds overnight or all day with the sea salt in a large bowl of water. Drain and rinse the sunflower seeds.
In a high-power blender (I used a Vitamix), add 1/2 cup of soaked seeds and half a cup of water. Blend util fully smooth, remove and set aside.
In a non-stick skillet or small stockpot, heat the oil, add the fennel, season with salt and pepper. After about 2 minutes, add the soaked and drained whole sunflower seeds, stir to coat with the oil, then add vegetable stock to completely cover the seeds. It will depend on the size of your pan, but you will probably need less than 2 cups. Add a little salt and pepper if so desired.
Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved sunflower seed cream, stir, then add frozen edamame, spread all over the surface, and cover the pan again. Cook gently for 5 minutes, then check that the seeds are tender and the edamame warm. If needed, add more vegetable stock, or alternatively remove the lid and let the excess liquid evaporate.
Serve the “risotto” right away.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: I fell in love with this dish at first bite… The cream of seeds made in the Vitamix has a strong taste, and gives the grain a luscious texture without the need for butter. You won’t use all, but it is hard to make less in the Vitamix. I am saving the leftover for next time, because it will happen again very soon… You can add different veggies, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, whatever you feel like, adjusting the timing or cooking the veggies before incorporating in the “risotto.” Sometimes it is hard to find raw sunflower seeds, but when we have them available in our grocery store, we buy several packages. Now that this dish will be part of our regular rotation, I cannot afford to run out of them!
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