Recipe: A Pink Sunflower Seed Risotto

A Pink Sunflower Seed Risotto

By Niree Noel

Guests enjoying Lauren's risotto beneath the sparkle of a disco ball at our October 2017 Secret Supper.

In the waning warmth of October, we gathered underground for a glitter-filled Disco Secret Supper. Chef Lauren Egdahl of Comparti created a bold menu featuring a rainbow of colors and cheeky nods to disco balls and other anachronistic ephemera. One of her standout dishes, the Sunny and Share, is a vibrant pink sunflower seed risotto which relies on blended beets for its bright hue and creamed sunflower seeds for its rich texture.

“Anyone who knows me knows I love rice,” Lauren says. “In an attempt to not eat rice all day err’ day, I started brainstorming different grains I could use for risotto. The sunflower seed risotto was born when I found a quart of straggler sunflower seeds in the Comparti Pantry. Shortly after, I discovered that blending beets into recipes makes almost anything more interesting, hence, the PINK sunny and share."  

Here, Lauren graciously shares her recipe for a dish that gets a 10/10 on taste and presentation.



The Recipe

Pink Sunflower Seed Risotto

Recipe by By Lauren Egdahl


Serves 4-6


  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked overnight (or simmered in water/broth 30 mins until al dente)
  • 1 beet boiled or roasted, peeled, ½ inch diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ stalk of leek, quartered lengthwise and sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1 cup cooked short grain rice (OR another ½ cup sunflower seeds for grain free option)*
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth, warming on stovetop
  • 1 tsp shiitake powder
  • ½ tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tbsp. EVOO or other preferred oil/fat
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. In a small saucepan, sauté leeks and garlic in EVOO with mushroom powder and pinch of salt.
  2. In another small saucepan, add cooked rice with 1 cup vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes until rice is very soft. Cool slightly.
  3. Blend rice** and stock mixture. Add ½ cup of cubed beets to blender, process until smooth.
  4. Add drained whole sunflower seeds to pan with leeks and garlic. Sauté on medium heat until warmed through. Add white wine and cook several minutes on high heat to cook off alcohol.
  5. Add ½ blended rice + beet mixture into risotto. Mix constantly for 3 minutes until thickened.
  6. Add ½ cup of remaining stock to blender to loosen rice/beet mixture. Blend for 10 seconds.
  7. Plate pink risotto in bowl, pour pink stock into sides of bowl for extra flavor and sauce!
  8. Garnish with cubed beets or any vegetable you have on hand! ENJOY!

Cooking Notes:

* You can use pre-cooked rice, or prepare 1/4 cup of dry rice cooked in stock. For a grain free option, replace the rice entirely with ½ cup sunflower seeds boiled in stock until cooked through. This will give the same thickening effect on the risotto base.

**Or super-soaked sunflower seeds blended to make sunflower cream.

Lauren’s Pro-Tips:

You can use blended beets to color a VARIETY of delicious foods and instantly bring a fun, unexpected color to the party. Try blending beets with tahini and spices for a pink hummus dip OR with coconut milk, ginger, and lime for a white rice dressing (surprise, surprise) that, when stirred together, creates a bright pink side dish that’s super fun and delicious.


PHOTOS BY: SAM ORTIZ and Lauren Egdahl