A chilly Melbourne night equals a craving for warm ricey goodness! I whipped up this yummy meal for dinner tonight and it went down a treat.
1 small butternut pumpkin (or pumpkin of your choice), cut into cubes
2 glugs of olive oil
1 onion/leek, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely diced
250g aborio rice
3 to 4 cups vegetable stock
½ bunch dill, lightly chopped
2 handfuls of spinach
1/2 block of silken tofu or goats cheese, cut into small cubes
Handful of fresh rocket
Optional >> 1. Place pumpkin pieces in a pre-heated oven with a glug of olive oil, salt and pepper and allow to roast until cooked through.
2. Place vegetable stock in medium sized saucepan and bring to a simmer.
3. Pour another glug of olive oil into a large saucepan and heat over medium flame.
4. Add onion/leek, garlic and celery and allow to cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft.
5. Turn up the heat and add the risotto rice, stirring frequently to coat in the olive oil. The rice should change to be slightly clear in appearance.
6. Start adding the heated stock, one ladle at a time, giving the rice a good stir and allowing the stock to be absorbed before adding the next ladle.
7. Just before adding the last ladle add the cooked pumpkin and gently stir through. Check to see if the rice is cooked, if it’s still really crunchy you may need to add an extra dash of water.
8. Add the spinach and tofu/goats cheese. Stir to combine ingredients.
9. Take saucepan off heat. Put on the lid and let it stand for 10 minutes or so. When the risotto is cooked, it will be soft but still have a little chew.
Thanks to Clare Presser. She cooks some of the best risotto I’ve ever tasted and I enjoyed it for 2 years when we were living together.