Pumpkin and goat's cheese risotto

Make the most of seasonal pumpkin with this goat's cheese risotto.
Make the most of seasonal pumpkin with this goat's cheese risotto. Photo: Jennifer Soo

I adore spring peas, asparagus and snow peas but I also love the root vegetables that are at their best right now - parsnips, celeriac, beetroot and so on. There are some people who seem almost afraid of vegetables - all they will eat are potatoes and peas and then only when pushed. They don't know what they're missing.

Ingredients

8 sage leaves, sliced

600g pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes

5 cloves garlic (unpeeled)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp butter

1 onion, finely chopped

400g arborio rice

1 cup white wine

4 cups chicken stock, hot

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

80g goat's cheese, crumbled

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Place half the sage, all the pumpkin and garlic in a shallow baking dish. Heat half the olive oil and half the butter together until melted, pour over the pumpkin and toss to coat.
  2. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Remove from the oven, remove the pumpkin and sage (set aside) and return the garlic to the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat well. Add the wine and stir until absorbed.
  4. Start adding the hot stock, a ladleful or two at a time, and stir constantly until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock and stir until the rice is plump and creamy but still has some bite. This should take 20-25 minutes. Season to taste and stir in the pumpkin/sage mixture and goat's cheese. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin and stir through.
  5. Remove from heat and sit for a couple of minutes before serving.
  6. Serve sprinkled with remaining sage and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (optional).

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