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Sunflower-Seed Risotto
© Antonis Achilleos

Sunflower-Seed Risotto

  • TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • FAST

Chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman of Memphis’s Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen worked together to make this risotto. Their secret weapon: a pressure cooker.

  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. Extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 small onion, minced
  4. 1 1/4 pounds shelled raw sunflower seeds (4 cups)
  5. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  6. 1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  7. 1 ounce thickly sliced country ham, finely diced
  8. Salt
  9. Freshly ground pepper
  10. 1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
  11. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. In a pressure cooker, melt the butter in 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, 3 minutes. Add the sunflower seeds and cook, stirring, 4 minutes. Add the wine; cook until evaporated. Add the stock and ham. Season with salt and pepper; bring to a boil.
  2. Cover and bring the cooker up to pressure. Maintain pressure over low heat for 7 minutes. Set the cooker in the sink and run cold water over the lid to cool and depressurize it; remove the lid once it can be released without force.
  3. Drain the sunflower seeds, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Transfer 1/2 cup of the seeds to a blender along with the 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid and puree until creamy.
  4. Transfer the whole seeds to a skillet. Add the puree, peas and cheese and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the seeds are coated with a creamy sauce, 2 minutes. Spoon the “risotto” into bowls, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Apple-scented, balanced Chardonnay.