Friday, October 4, 2013

Roast Pumpkin and Pesto Risotto

For those of you who have been following my posts, you will know that within the last month or so I interviewed with scholarships/jobs with Nestle and L'Oreal. Unfortunately, it would appear that I missed out on both of them by a whisker. To be honest I am a bit heart broken as I have been working towards getting a scholarship for about the last two years. I don't do runner-up too well. I found out about L'Oreal yesterday afternoon and that evening when I was in the supermarket the bottles of wine were looking quite tempting. However, I then had the concerning thought that my flatmate would come home to find me having a Bridget Jones moment (without the smoking), so I refrained.

Anyway, after a very intense, angry run this morning I have refocused and taken the approach that all things happen for a reason and that something bigger and better will come my way. It has just made me more focused to get what I want..... And if that fails I now have a backup plan that I will move to Stewart Island and become a hermit food blogger (for those of you that don't know, Stewart Island is the small Island at the bottom of New Zealand that consists of about 400 people, 1 pub, 1 small supermarket/dairy and a few gift-type shops).

Anyway, enough of my moaning and on to some delicious comfort food. Earlier this week was world vegetarian day, so I celebrated by making this delicious roast pumpkin and pesto risotto. I think that a well made risotto would have to be one of my favourite comfort foods and it is actually really easy to make it vegetarian without anyone complaining. It is also a good way to use up some pumpkin that is now going out of season in the southern hemisphere.

So instead of doing a Bridget Jones impression, get in the kitchen and make this!

500g pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks (I prefer to cut it into smaller pieces when it is cooked and easier to cut)
1 cup arborio rice
25g butter
4 cups chicken stock
3 Tbsp pesto
2-3 cups extra water
Parmesan to serve

Place the pumpkin on a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil and place in the oven at 200 degrees C. to roast (20-30 minutes).

In the mean time, combine the chicken stock and pesto in a sauce pan and place over a high heat until it is boiling, then reduce to a simmer.

While all of that is going on (I promise this sounds more complicated than it is!), melt the butter in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the arborio rice and stir for 1-2 minutes to toast the rice. Add 1/4 cup of the stock mixture and stir (It should make a sizzling sound)

Continue to add small amounts of stock, only adding more when most of the moisture has been absorbed. You will also need to keep stirring so the mixture doesn't stick. If rice is not cooked right the way through after all of the stock has been used, continue using boiling water.

When the rice is cooked place in bowls, cut the roast pumpkin into smaller pieces and place on top of the risotto. Finish with a sprinkling of parmesan

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