Photos by Peden + Munk

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 bunch dill, tough stems removed, very coarsely chopped (about 2 cups), plus sprigs for serving
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup sunflower or vegetable oil, plus more for drizzling
  • ¼ teaspoon guar gum (optional)
  • 2 romaine hearts, halved lengthwise
  • 12 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Special Equipment: A 1-pint jar, 2 layers of cheesecloth, and a deep-fry thermometer

DIRECTIONS

  • Place sunflower seeds in jar and pour in cold water to cover. Seal jar and let seeds sit at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.

  • Drain sunflower seeds and return to jar. Cover with a double layer of cheesecloth, secure with a rubber band, and let seeds sit until just beginning to sprout, at least 12 hours and up to 1 day. Pat dry with paper towels.

  • Heat vegetable oil in a medium saucepan fitted with thermometer over medium-high until thermometer registers 350°. Carefully add sunflower seeds and cook, swirling pan, until puffed and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain; season with salt. Let cool.

  • Cook chopped dill in a large saucepan of boiling salted water just until wilted and bright green, about 30 seconds. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water and swish around to cool as quickly as possible. Drain dill and gently squeeze to remove excess water.

  • Blend dill, buttermilk, and milk in a blender until mixture is bright green and smooth. With motor running, gradually stream in ¼ cup sunflower oil followed by guar gum, if using (guar gum will give the sauce body without impacting flavor; if omitting, sauce will be a bit runny but equally tasty); season with salt. Transfer dill sauce to a medium bowl. Cover and chill.

  • Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Lightly drizzle cut sides of romaine with more sunflower oil; season with salt. Grill, cut side down, until grill marks appear but lettuce is still very crunchy, about 45 seconds. (Or char in a grill pan over medium-high.) Transfer to a platter; let cool.

  • Heat crabmeat, olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over low, stirring gently, until slightly warm; season with salt.

  • Divide crab mixture among plates. Gently dip romaine in dill sauce and turn to coat completely, letting excess drip back into bowl. Arrange over crab; top with dill sprigs and fried sunflower seeds.

Much thanks to Staplehouse at Bon Appetit for this amazing recipe.