25 April 2012

Roast Pumpkin, Sage and Brown Butter Risotto



Brown butter....see how it grabs your attention and just the thought of it tantalizes your taste buds? Toasty, nutty, buttery.  And it is so versatile....great with sweet treats and here it is mouth wateringly good drizzled over a little risotto. This risotto would be good without it, creamy, sweet pumpkin, crispy sage all coming together in a tasty comforting supper, but really, just that little drizzle is what makes me love this dish all the more.  It adds that little indulgence that I do so love, everything in balance including a little indulgence.




Don't be scared of risotto.  It just takes a little time and a little stirring and really is quite difficult to get it wrong.  From the base of this risotto you really can add anything you like. The basic soffrito of onion, garlic and celery gives the foundations and depth for all sorts of flavours.  Mushroom risotto is always good and chicken or shrimp would also be wonderful. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere and heading in to spring asparagus and lemon would be my pick.


Roast Pumpkin, Crispy Sage and Brown Butter Risotto


Ingredients


Serves 6


2 cups roasted pumpkin
Pinch chilli flakes
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp olive oil
1.5 lt chicken stock (vegetable stock would of course also work)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 large onion, finely diced*
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sticks celery, finely diced*
400g arborio rice
1 cup white wine
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter
Handful sage leaves


*For a delicate risotto take some time to really finely dice the onion and celery.




Directions


Pre heat the oven to 190C/380F


You want to end up with 2-3 cups of roasted pumpkin.  I use half a large pumpkin and used the extra in a salad.  Dice the pumpkin in to 1cm cubes. In a small bowl add the chilli flakes, cinnamon, olive oil and pinch each of salt and pepper.  Whisk to combine and pour over the pumpkin and gently toss to evenly coat.  Place the pumpkin in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until just cooked and golden.




Heat the stock over a low heat and leave it on a low heat to keep it warm.  Place 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of butter in to a medium sized frying pan over a medium heat.  Once the butter has melted add the onion, garlic, celery and a pinch of salt and cook over a medium low heat for 10-15 minutes.  We are looking for soft and translucent rather than fried here as we want to build up all the delicate layers of flavour.  Add the rice and turn up the heat to medium high, jeep stirring and fry it for a few moments.  The rice will become a little translucent and then add the wine, all the while stirring.




Keep stirring until all the wine has cooked in to the rice and then add a ladle of the warm stock.  Turn down the heat to medium low and keep adding ladlefuls of stock, one at a time until each has almost all been absorbed by the rice.  It will take about 15-20 minutes so just enjoy and take your time.  After 15 minutes taste the rice to see if it is cooked, you want cooked but with just a little bite.  Add more stock and keep cooking if it is not quite ready.  Season with a little salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasoning if need be.  Season a little at a time....as we all know easy enough to add more but not so easy to remove.






Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan.  Stir well to combine and then gently stir through the roasted pumpkin.  Allow the risotto to sit for a few moments so the rice can absorb all that buttery and Parmesan goodness.  While the risotto is resting melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small frying pan and add the sage.  Allow it to fry until it crisps up and then remove it and pop it on come kitchen towel.  Keep the heat on the butter and cook it until it becomes a little brown and releases that toasty nutty aroma that only brown butter can.




Plate up the risotto, top with a handful of crispy sages leaves and drizzle with brown butter.  Serve immediately.  Creamy and comforting, a little sweetness from the pumpkin, heightened by the cinnamon , wonderfully savoury crispy sage all drizzled with nutty brown butter makes it perfect for an Autumn supper.






If you like this you might like this Multi Vegetable Paella
One Year Ago Almond Peach Cranberry and Coconut Granola




Enjoy!

6 comments:

  1. It is always amazing to me that something as simple as butter can add so much flavor in so many ways.
    I love the combination of flavors and even though we are in full swing of spring, SoCal does not really get winter and I can make this whenever I want, disregarding the calendar:)
    I hope you have a great weekend!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Lana, gotta love butter! Envious as ever of your constant balmy days!!

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  2. I have only made and used brown butter in sweet dishes but have often seen it used in savory dishes with pumpkin and sage so it must be fabulous! I love making risotto and my family loves eating it - it is so versatile and always good. Love this classic combo - one I have not ever made yet!

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    1. Hi Jamie, can't believe you haven't drizzled something savoury with brown butter....you seriously must, it makes everything better....it is also quite heavenly drizzled on some celeriac puree :)

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  3. Sounds perfect, I love risotto and made a beetroot one on Friday. All these lovely winter dishes we have to look forward to hey!

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    Replies
    1. Yum....beetroot...look forward to reading about that one...and yes there have to be some benefits to Winter! Eagerly getting in to greens!

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