Quinoa and pumpkin risotto
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Quinoa and pumpkin risotto

Sage and pumpkin risotto is an Italian classic. Replace the rice with quinoa for a different, but equally delicious and very nutritious risotto. The tiny seeds break down into little curls when cooked.

(Serves three as a main course or four to five as a side dish)

Wedge of pumpkin, about 750 g
3 tbsps olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 large onion, halved and sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
150 g quinoa
Approx. 450 ml vegetable stock
8 chopped fresh sage leaves, or 1 tsp dried sage
2 tbsps grated Parmesan
Parmesan shavings, sage sprigs and extra virgin olive oil to serve

Remove the seeds and rind from the pumpkin and cut it into about two-centimetre dice.

Put it into a bowl, add two tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the pumpkin on to a baking tray and roast in a 220˚C oven for about 20 minutes or until tender when tested with the point of a knife.

Heat the rest of the oil in a large pan and fry the onion until just starting to soften. Add the garlic and fry for a minute more. Rinse the quinoa in several changes of water, drain well and add it to the pan. Stir to coat with the oil, then add the stock and sage and bring to the boil.

Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for about 25 minutes or until the quinoa is tender, giving it the occasional stir and adding a little more stock if necessary.

Add the pumpkin and grated Parmesan and toss it all together, season with salt and pepper and cook for another two minutes, then serve on warm plates and top each one with a drizzle of extra virgin oil, some Parmesan shavings and a sprig of sage.

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