Recently I was lucky enough to attend an evening with Nigella Lawson on the Sydney leg of her current book tour (more about that in a later post). The venue was the fabulous Chiswick at the Gallery restaurant owned by Chef Matthew Moran, and whereas the meal was a showcase of some of the food in Nigella’s new book, there was a vegetarian dish served to the man sitting next to me which was not in her book so I assume it was one of chef Moran’s.This Pumpkin Risotto was one of the most delicious I have tasted and I was inspired to try to recreate it at home when my dear friend Fenella came to stay. Fenella, who generally is not a risotto enthusiast, and my husband said it was one of the best risotto’s they’ve eaten…needless to say I was delighted with the result. For the base risotto I adapted another Chef Moran risotto recipe.
I served this as an accompaniment to lamb back strap, which I simply seared in chilli oil, with a green salad, but it is a dish which could be served as standalone, either as an entree (starter) or a main. However you serve it, I hope you enjoy as much as we did!
Roast Pumpkin Risotto – A Kathryninthekitchen adaptation Serves 4
700 – 800g pumpkin – skinned and cut into large pieces
1 red onion – peeled and cut into 6 wedges
Olive oil – enough to coat the pumpkin pieces
Sea salt – light sprinkle across the pumpkin pieces
8 – 10 fresh tarragon leaves
800 – 850ml chicken stock
50 ml olive oil (additional)
25g unsalted butter
1 garlic clove – crushed
2 large eschallots – finely chopped
250g Carnaroli rice – or other suitable short grain risotto rice
75ml white wine
50g parmesan (I used reggiano) – finely grated
2 tsp fresh tarragon leaves – chopped
Good grind of white pepper
(Optional) parsley – small handful chopped
- Preheat oven at 200C
- Roast the oiled & salted pumpkin and onion for 45 – 50 min in a baking dish lined with baking paper until they are cooked and have nice colour. Turn over halfway through to ensure even colouring.
- Set aside 2-3 pieces of roast pumpkin cut into small dice for garnish.
- Blend the remaining pumpkin, onion, tarragon leaves & 50 – 100ml chicken stock. Puree should be loose but not liquid.
- Bring chicken stock to boil
- In a heavy based large pan over a medium heat, sweat eschallot & garlic in olive oil & butter until soft but not coloured.
- Add rice and ensure well coated.
- Add wine and stir until absorbed.
- Add hot chicken stock one ladle at a time, stirring until absorbed before adding next ladle. Continue until all stock is used. If rice still not at the desired texture add small amount of hot water as stir until absorbed (as was done with stock.) Don’t forget to stir continuously through-out the cooking process.
- When rice is cooked, remove from heat and add parmesan, mascarpone, chopped tarragon, pureed pumpkin and pepper.
Serve on a platter garnished with small diced pieces of roast pumpkin and if desired a sprinkle of parsley.