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Recipe provided by Matt Preston

There is no little controversy over whether a risotto can be made with anything other than rice. But when you travel to Copenhagen and ¼nd a Messina-born chef making risotto with sunflower seeds because rice doesn’t grow in Scandinavia you have to respect his logic. The restaurant was Relae, and the chef was Christian Puglisi. My version is different but is de¼nitely inspired by Christian’s original

Serves 4.

PREP: 20 mins plus overnight soaking. COOKING: 40 mins



500 g sunflower seeds

750 ml (3 cups) vegetable stock

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

50 g unsalted butter or coconut butter, chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

125 ml (½ cup) white wine

60 g (3/4 cup) finely grated parmesan (or use 30 g nutritional yeast)

300 g broad beans, blanched and podded

200 g frozen peas

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

nasturtium leaves, to serve, if you have them (and if you don’t, take this as a cue to plant some as they grow like weeds and have the same peppery bite as rocket, but they won’t bolt on you)

1 lemon



Place the sun¾ower seeds in a bowl of cold water and leave to soak overnight. Drain and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Pour the stock into a large saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and keep at a low simmer. Blitz one-quarter of the sunflower seeds and 60 ml (1/4 cup )of the stock in a food processor until smooth. Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a large deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1–2 minutes, until aromatic. Add the remaining sun¾ower seeds and toss to coat. Pour the wine into the pan and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until reduced by at least half. Add the stock and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the sun¾ower seeds have softened. Stir in the sunflower seed puree and 50 g of the parmesan or 25 g of the nutritional yeast). Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the broad beans, peas and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2–3 minutes or until softened. Season and remove from the heat. Divide the risotto among serving plates. Top with the broad bean mixture, thyme leaves, nasturtium leaves (if using) and remaining parmesan (or nutritional yeast). Finely grate over a little lemon zest, then cut the lemon into wedges and serve alongside the risotto

RECIPE: More by Matt Preston, Published by Plum, RRP 39.99, Photography by Mark Roper