Mr B and I have recently decided to try our hand at eliminating some of the meat from our diet and so far this is working out much better than I expected as there are so many yummy recipes that are completely meat-free, and we really haven’t missed it from those dishes.
We bought this book a few weeks back which helps you maintain a nearly meat-free or ‘flexitarian’ lifestyle, and one of the reasons we love it so much is that it gives you a part-time option for each dish showing how to include meat and fish if you so wish.
As it happens, Halloween has fallen at just the right time as usually we would most likely have thrown away the unused pumpkin flesh from our carved masterpiece and wasted a perfectly tasty and usable ingredient. This year however I decided to be resourceful and put the pumpkin flesh to good use by making a pumpkin and blue cheese risotto (recipe not from the book), and boy was it good.
I may be a little late with this post if you’ve already thrown the pumpkin flesh away or used it for another dish (well done you), but if you do still have an unwanted orange thing hanging around I would definitely recommend trying this recipe out. Butternut squash is also a perfect substitute if you can’t get your hands on a pumpkin now Halloween is over.
I have seen similar recipes to this before, however this was my own version and I often try out different risotto combos:
- 200g risotto arborio rice
- flesh of one small-medium pumpkin (or squash) cut in to small cubes
- 1 large finely chopped onion
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme finely chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- knob of butter
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 125ml dry white wine (I actually used prosecco and had a sneaky glass as I cooked)
- parmigiano reggiano shavings
- your choice of blue cheese (I used gorgonzola – use as much or as little as you like as I find this can be a very personal thing, but I love loads)
- salt and cracked black pepper to season
- Season and oil the pumpkin cubes and place on a baking tray in the middle of a preheated (200’C) oven – bake until softened and slightly coloured
- Heat the butter and oil together on a low-medium heat in a large non-stick pan and add the chopped onion so that it softens but doesn’t colour
- Add the rice and stir until the grain begins to turn translucent
- Pour in the wine and stir until it evaporates then begin adding the stock a ladle-full at a time whilst stirring continuously, waiting until the previous evaporates before adding the next (this process should take roughly 20 mins of continuous stirring)
- Once complete and the rice is cooked, stir in the parmesan shavings and chopped thyme and season well to taste.
- Mix through the cooked pumpkin pieces and top with small cubes of blue cheese and an extra twist of black pepper and serve
Super simple and time efficient!