Honey-baked Pumpkin and Spinach Risotto

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It seems it’s just that time of the year when the weather can’t decide what it wants to be. Or maybe that’s just Australia for you! You see, it’s Spring so the weather should be starting to warm up a little after a rather frosty winter (finally!!!), which it is…..when it wants to. We’ve had our fair share of warm ones so far but then all of the sudden it goes back to being cold again. Like, NO!! Let me provide you with an example to illustrate my annoyance. Okay, so a couple of weeks ago we had a couple of days in a row where it was hitting the 30’s (now, that’s what I’m talking about) then all of a sudden the next day the temperature just decides to drop to 19 degrees! For us Aussie’s that’s pretty cold, especially in spring (and for me!). And what do you know, it’s back to a warm 28 degrees the next day!

Now, I know I shouldn’t be complaining; 19 degrees isn’t really that cold but for me it is. So, what better way to warm up than with a delicious bowl of steaming hot pumpkin risotto. It doesn’t get much better than that!

 

Recipe

Honey-baked pumpkin and spinach risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 to ½ a pumpkin, peeled, cut into small cubes (I used Kent pumpkin)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil IMG_5353
  • 1-2 tbs honey
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2cm piece ginger, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) white wine (optional – just use water)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
  • A knob of butter
  • A small handful of spinach
  • Grated parmesan to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150° degrees C.
  2. Lay pumpkin in an even layer on a large baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Season with pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of honey, tossing well to coat each piece. Roast for a further 15 minutes until cooked and golden
  3. Place stock in a saucepan and keep at a simmer over low heat.
  4. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery and stir fir a few minutes or until soft.  Add ginger and garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.  Add rice and cook for a further few minutes, stirring to coat grains. Add wine/water and cook until absorbed. Add stock bit at a time, allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next. It should take 15-20 minutes until rice is cooked but still firm to the bite. Add, butter and stir through, then lemon juice, pumpkin, parsley, and remove from heat. Season, to taste.
  5. Serve with parsley and sprinkle of parmesan.

Notes:

My inspiration for this recipe was from here.

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This is actually quite a healthy version of what can sometimes be a very heavy dish. It’s great because it still has that creamy texture risotto’s are known for, but without the unnecessary addition of all the cream. Win, win!

The addition of the pumpkin, celery and spinach also help to boost the nutrient content of this dish and help get your 5 in a day, whilst the rice provides a good carbohydrate source to create a very balanced meal. Perfect for after a hard training session to replenish your glycogen stores.

Tanisha

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