10 November 2011

Brown rice risotto with pumpkin and sage

Finally a little time for blogging.
I made this recipe about three weeks ago and didn't manage to post it until now. This was not due to any lack of enthusiasm but rather to a lack of time and energy. There was so much going on with work and classes and homework and, well, life. Choir rehearsals started again (I'm the choirmaster this year. Huge responsibility.), work opportunities popped up (yay!), and then last week's huge, amazing, totally consuming blur of work, people, films, food, parties, sleep deprivation and (too much) white wine which I miss very, very, very much (everything, not just the wine).


This is a risotto that would make every risotto purist either balk or bang on his coffin as I neither used white wine nor Arborio rice but substituted more stock and the plain old, nutritious brown rice. I have to admit, though, that I never use Arborio for risotto, I just can't seem to be able to remember to buy it when I go shopping, so I always end up using other kinds of rice for my risottos. Once I even made a savoury risotto using pudding rice. The result wasn't too bad.
Everything else about this risotto is very traditional, though, and sage adds that little extra warmth we all need so bittely now that winter finally started (whohoooo!).

And yes, I know, another pumpkin recipe. Are you bored yet? No? Good. Because I still got three  squash in the pantry. Speaking of squash: I tend to get confused with the difference between pumpkin and squash that is made in English, so please forgive me any mistakes I might make (like calling a pumpkin "squash", or, rather more likely, a squash "pumpkin"). In German, all squash are called pumpkin, too, why can't it be that simple in English? I mean: Is pumpkin more different from butternut squash than butternut squash is from onion squash? I don't think so. See?

Brown rice risotto with pumpkin and sage
(adapted from Sophie Dahl's Voluptuous Delights with a few modifications by me)

Serves 2

Half an onion
Half a clove of garlic
200 g/1 cup brown rice
750-1000 ml/3-4 cups vegetable stock
Quarter a medium-sized onion squash, baked/cooked and pureed (see here) (Sophie's recipe asks for 125 g/0.5 cup pumpkin puree, I think my quarter onion squash amounted to a teensy bit more)
1 Tbsp fresh sage (you can also use dried, but then you'll maybe need a little bit more)
Some pumpkin seeds
Olive oil
As much parmesan as you want

Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Heat some olive oil in a medium-sized pot, and sweat the garlic and onion for a few minutes. Then add the rice and stir, making sure that every grain is coated in oil.
Add some stock and stir until it is absorbed. Keep doing that until all the stock is gone, never adding more than 1 cup at a time. The rice should be done when you added all the stock. If it isn't, add more.

In a small, searing hot pan, toast the pumpkin seeds (without any oil!) for a couple of minutes until they make loud popping sounds (like popcorn). Be careful to stir  from time to time so they don't burn. Chop the sage.

When the rice is done, add the pumpkin/squash puree, the parmesan, the sage, and the toasted pumpkin seeds, season to taste and serve.

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