Pumpkin Risotto Served in a Pumpkin Bowl with Tarragon

Serves 4

About this recipe

I borrowed the idea of this recipe from a chef Ben Tish, on Saturday kitchen, who made the most wonderful risotto using the pumpkin as a bowl. Incredible!

This is a real show stopping recipe that makes maximum use of this seasonal vegetable, it’s low in the starchy carbohydrates and packs 3 different vegetables into a luxurious comforting dish. You can try it without the pumpkin bowl if you don’t have time, but this is a real treat for those wanting to eat more diverse veggies!

TIP:

Leave out the cheese if you’re dairy-free (simply replace the umami flavor with a cheese free pesto if you have time)


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Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 135g Onion (1 onion)
  • 3 Cloves garlic, crushed
  • 60g Celery / 1-2 sticks
  • 1 Small pumpkin (roughly 700g), thoroughly washed and the top cut off
  • 400g Pumpkin flesh - scooped out with a spoon and seeds removed and chopped
  • 120g Risotto rice - mixed arborio and wild rice mix (or whatever rice you prefer)
  • 600-800ml Vegetable stock
  • 10g Fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 20g parmesan, grated (optional)
Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Set a large saucepan on medium heat and add the oil, onion, celery and garlic. Cook down for around 10 minutes until the onions and garlic have softened.

While the onions are cooking, prepare your pumpkin by cutting off the top and scooping out as much of the flesh from the inside, along with the seeds as you can. It’s easiest to use just a metal spoon for this, scraping the inside of the pumpkin to draw away the flesh.

Place the empty pumpkin and the top next to each other on a non-stick or lined baking tray and bake in the pre-heated oven for around 30-40 minutes until tender – it should take around the same time to cook as the risotto does. It needs to be tender and soft enough to eat, yet still be sturdy enough to hold the risotto mix inside without collapsing.

Once the onions and celery have become soft and translucent, add in the risotto rice, chopped up pumpkin flesh, along with 200ml vegetable stock and some salt and pepper.

Cook over a medium heat, gradually adding more stock once all the liquid has been absorbed and stirring as you go. You may need a little more stock than stated as it depends on the rice you are using. Once the rice has cooked through (it should be soft, yet still have a little bite) and all the stock has been absorbed, add the fresh tarragon, lemon juice and parmesan.

Taste for seasoning, adding a little more salt, pepper or parmesan if it needs. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Serve the risotto by putting the rice mixture into the baked pumpkin and placing the lid on top.


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