Organic Pumpkin Risotto with Options

The second organic pumpkin we had as a gift from our friends was quite large. We enjoyed it again, simply roasted, and I also made pumpkin risotto, which I never cooked before. My regular readers probably know by now, that I am not very good at following traditional, authentic or classical recipes. I always change either ingredients, or cooking techniques, to achieve the result I am aiming for. People have different tastes in everything, and food preferences are not an exception. I can be very particular in my preferences, and the perfect example of my personal taste, is Koshihikari sushi rice for risotto. But, please, use any Arborio rice you like to cook traditional risotto. Mild chorizo sausage I used to serve with roasted pumpkin, gave such a nice mix of sweet and salty flavours, that I decided to use the same chorizo as one of the ingredients for the dish. I also took the advice of the fellow blogger and used butter, infused by cooking seeds with the strands of fresh from the freshly cut pumpkin, to saute leek and fry the sausage for risotto. We had an abundance of pumpkin and I have found that risotto served on a thin slice of roasted pumpkin makes simply divine dish.

It can be served in a more elaborate and sophisticated way, in our case it was just last-minute idea for the second helping. It goes particularly well when risotto has a mild heat in it.

Roasted organic pumpkin is so flavourful that it can be used to make vegetarian risotto with plant-based oil and vegetable stock. Another version of the recipe is to use sautéed leek, saffron and roasted pumpkin as ingredients. Chorizo sausage and mild chilli pepper are two other optional ingredients for lovers of more spicy version of the dish. I didn’t use cheese shavings to balance the very distinct pumpkin sweetness, this role was performed by chorizo sausage.

Ingredients:

  • 300g organic pumpkin, peeled and cut in 1 cm cubes
  • 2 table spoons of infused butter
  • 1 table spoon of olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced in semi-circles
  • 1 cup of Arborio rice (I used Koshihikari sushi rice)
  • pinch of saffron
  • quality coarse sea salt for seasoning
  • chicken/vegetable stock (I used homemade chicken and vegetable stock), quantity depends on the type of rice and the way roasted pumpkin is added to risotto and the type of risotto you like, more or less wet and runny, approximately 700ml

optional

  • 1/2 of chorizo sausage (soft in texture and mild in taste)
  • 1/2 of long medium heat chilli pepper without seeds

Preparation:

  • prepare infused butter, this butter can be used not only for risotto preparation, but for many other frying purposes
  • melt butter in a small sauce pan, add pumpkin seeds with strands of pumpkin flesh from the centre
  • cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all flesh is cooked and soft

  • drain and collect infused butter, I collected clear butter as the first portion, squeezed all the cooked and puree like flesh with residual butter as the second portion
  • season remaining mixture of seeds (with some remaining flesh) and roast on a lined with baking paper tray at low temperatures until dry, I wanted to use them as garnish for soups and salads, but they were gone long before, so delicious they were
  • slice and peel pumpkin, cut it into 1 cm cubes
  • place diced pumpkin into a zip-lock bag, add 1 table spoon of olive oil and season with good quality sea salt, I used artisan sea salt
  • lock plastic bag, shake it to cover all pumpkin surfaces with oil and seasoning
  • spread diced pumpkin on a lined tray
  • roast in preheated to 190-200C fan forced oven until soft

  • try not to taste too many of those, they melt in your mouth
  • heat the stock
  • use 1 table spoon of hot stock to cover saffron strands
  • while pumpkin roasts heat infused butter in a deep pan
  • add sliced chorizo sausage and cook it on a medium to high heat to brown it
  • add sliced leek, reduce the heat to medium/low and saute  the mix until leek starts to go translucent

  • add rice and thinly sliced chilli, cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until rice goes from white to clear

  • from this stage there are two options, you can add roasted pumpkin and start adding heated stock ladle by ladle, stirring risotto constantly, in this case the majority of pumpkin pieces with disintegrate and will be the integral part of risotto texture (that’s what I did)
  • add saffron and saffron infused stock

  • the second option is to add stock without adding roasted pumpkin, cook risotto until the rice is nearly done, but not quite yet, add pumpkin pieces, stir them in, cover the pan with dry tea towel, place the lid on top and let risotto rest for 15 minutes
  • serve with extra pieces of roasted pumpkin, pieces roasted with the skin are the best
  • use roasted pumpkin slices to serve risotto

  • if plating risotto on a cold day, warm serving plates ahead of serving

I am glad we have another large pumpkin in garage, waiting its turn to be cooked into soup and another risotto. It was so unbelievably delicious, that I am going to repeat it again as many times, as the pumpkin will last.

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2 thoughts on “Organic Pumpkin Risotto with Options

  1. Wow! Wow! Wow!
    Accidentally stumbled on your recipes and a web site.
    Just amazing.

    barefoot and naked

    1. Thank you Ben,
      Though all recipes in this blog are gluten free, some grain and dairy free, and some even Paleo, many dishes and bakes can satisfy even most demanding foodies with developed taste for quality food. My main goal is to convince readers that coeliacs and people with different food intolerances and sensitivities do not have to feel in any way deprived and enjoy quality food with excellent taste and texture and fully nutritionally balanced. All published recipes is what we eat at home and delight me in the process of preparation.

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