By Chef Ella Freyinger

February 2021

Single Serving

I have spent many summers in central Italy, frolicking near lakes that are surrounded by sunflower fields. Each day I would watch flowers follow the path of the sun, existing in complete reverence to the father of our skies and the external source of our light. Whenever I eat sunflower seeds this is the scene that plays out in my mind, That each little seed has existed in worship of the sun. That I am absorbing that energy, commitment and love. Sunflower seeds are rich in antioxidants, zinc, selenium, folate and a plethora of other essential nutrients. This dish is a beautiful alternative for those that are grain free. The sunflower seeds lend a bite that is reminiscent of the al dente Arborio rice of traditional risotto. Not to mention, once sprouted the magic of these seeds is truly unlocked. Add a citrus sauce packed full of vitamin c this dish will warm you, invigorate you and fill you with energy.


  • 1 pint kumquats OR 1 cup chopped winter citrus
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 large shallot
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Flamingo Estate olive oil
  • 2 cups sprouted sunflower seeds
  • 2⁄3 cup heavy cream
  • 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (plus more for serving)
  • Kosher salt
  • 4, 4oz skin-on salmon filets
  • Kosher salt
  • Flamingo Estate olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 400° F
  • Place kumquats, thyme, shallot, garlic, salt and black pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the citrus begins to caramelize.
  • Add the kumquat mixture to the blender along with the orange juice and blend on high until smooth. Season with salt to taste. This can be made the day before.
  • Place sunflower seeds into a medium saucepot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the sunflower seeds are tender.
  • Transfer 1⁄2 of the seeds to a blend and blend until smooth. Return to the pan with remaining sunflower seeds. Add the cream and Parmesan and stir until well combined. Season with salt to taste.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Season salmon liberally with salt and place into the skillet skin side down. Cook for 4-5 until the skin has become crispy. Turn over and cook and additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Divide the risotto among 4 bowls. Top with additional parmesan. Add 1 salmon filet to each dish with skin side up. Top each filet with dollops of kumquat sauce and serve the remaining on the side.
  • Enjoy!