Friday, 27 May 2011

Pumpkin & Feta Risotto

I love making this risotto. It is one of my very favourite dishes.
We first had it at my friend Tip's  house. She loves entertaining and is always serving us delicious food and baked goods.

This week I was unable to find butternut in the supermarket so I bought a nice little orange pumpkin and it worked really well. However, if you can find it then I suggest you use butternut.

One shallot or medium sized white onion and one clove of garlic
Two to three tablespoons of safflower oil
Two teaspoons ground cinnamon
Butternut / pumpkin (I used about two thirds of a medium sized pumpkin)
200 gram Risotto Rice (Arborio or whatever you prefer)
700 ml Vegetable stock
100 gram Feta cheese (feel free to use more since Feta cheese is very more-ish)
Chives - a handful will do
These ingredients is enough to feed two hungry adults.

Switch on the oven to about 200 degrees Celsius.
Peel the pumpkin and chop it up into even bite sized pieces.
Place in an ovenproof dish or roasting tin and drizzle some oil over the pumpkin.
Add the cinnamon and mix through the pumpkin - use your hands if necessary.
Place in the oven to roast for 30 - 40 minutes (this depends on the size of the pumpkin pieces and your oven)

While the pumpkin is roasting away and your kitchen becomes filled with the gorgeous aroma of pumpkin and cinnamon, start working on the rest of the dish. Try and time it so that your pumpkin comes out of the oven before the risotto rice is cooked.

Chop the onion and garlic finely.
Heat up the oil and add the onion and garlic.
Saute for a minute or two until the onion softens.
Add the risotto rice and stir for two minutes until it becomes translucent.
(follow the instructions on the risotto rice packaging - they all differ slightly so do what you know works best for you)
Add the vegetable stock bit by bit while stirring continuously.
On a medium heat simmer the rice for about 17 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and remember to stir every minute or two. Also add more liquid if you see that the rice is becoming too dry.
Taste to check that the rice is cooked as you like it - arborio rice tends to be a little chewy.

Now chop the Feta cheese into little bite sized pieces.
Add both the Feta and pumpkin to the risotto rice and mix well.
Serve onto plates and add the chives on top.
I usually cut the chives with my kitchen scissors - snip, snip, snip. Trust me, the chives are an essential ingredient since it just brings the whole dish together.

It might sound like a tedious dish to make, what with all the stirring involved in cooking a risotto. You will be surprised at how easy it is and even if you do find it tedious then just keep your eye on the prize and know that this meal is a real reward at the end of the day.


  1. My absolute favourite!

  2. Mine too. It's just always a winner... must be the feta and pumpkin combination, yum yum yum


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