Some weeks ago, I had a girls’ night out with a dear friend (a psychologist). We treated ourselves to a nice dinner out. Some of the food was really nice, some… not so impressive. Our main course was pumpkin and blue cheese risotto. Way too salty. And we started talking about how one could easily try this at home. And get better results.
Of course I had to instagram the dish, just to remember it. It looked nicer than it tasted, I’m afraid. Anyway, a certain Frenchman I know commented on it, and asked if I’d made it. I said no but that I so, like, totally could make it. He said he’d love to try it. Thus, the idea to make pumpkin risotto with a French kitchen slave, I mean, dinner guest ensued.
Roasted Pumpkin & Blue Cheese Risotto
- 200g Arborio rice
- 1/4 cup = approx. 65 ml dry white wine
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 small pumpkin, peeled and diced (I mixed half of a butternut squash and half of a red kuri squash aka orange hokkaido squash)
- olive oil
- salt to taste
- 70-100g crumbled blue cheese (of your choice)
- 1l veggie stock
- fresh thyme, chopped
- roasted pine nuts to garnish
The original recipe I found here:
Here’s what you do:
First, roast the pumpkin. Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Peel and chop the pumpkin into cubes of 1/2 centimetre thick. Place them in an oven-proof dish and coat in olive oil. Pop them in the hot oven for about 20-25 minutes, until they’ve started to caramelise a bit.
While the pumpkin is roasting, you can start the risotto. Finely chop the shallots (I had my kitchen slave/dinner guest complete this task) and heat some olive oil in a large saucepan. Sauté the shallots in oil, and once they’ve softened, add the rice and stir so they get immersed in the oil. You should also heat your veggie stock and keep it simmering. I put mine in a small saucepan and had it on low heat the whole time I was cooking the risotto.
At this point, you pour the bit of wine in, and stir so it evaporates. Then you start ladling in the veggie stock, whenever the rice seems to be running out of liquid to cook in. Keep stirring so it doesn’t stick. This will take you about 20-30 minutes. Keep going until you’ve used up the whole litre of veggie stock.
Your roasted pumpkin should be ready, and when the risotto has been cooking about 10-15 minutes, you can add some of the roasted pumpkin cubes and stir, so they dissolve into the risotto and give it a nice, orange colour. When your risotto is almost ready (only slightly al dente), start crumbling in the blue cheese and add the rest of the pumpkin cubes.
Chop up some fresh thyme and stir in, leave some for garnish. Roast some pine nuts on a dry pan to sprinkle on top.
We had our risotto with some pan-fried white fish. And a nice Riesling.
Get fresh white fish filets with the skin still on. Season the meat-side with salt and black pepper. Heat some butter on a pan. Place the fish filets, skin-side down, on the hot pan and allow to fry properly. You can keep checking whether the skin is getting crispy. My pan could have, frankly, been hotter. But there’s only so much my little stove can do… When the filets were getting whiter on top, I turned them to briefly cook the meat-side. That’s it. Not hard at all. Especially if you have a great kitchen slave, I mean, dinner guest.