Pumpkin risotto with crispy sage
Sage, with its sophisticated savouriness, is my favourite herb to partner the sweetness of pumpkin or squash. Here, it provides both a flavouring and a crispy edible garnish. Serves four as a generous starter.
600ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
12 sage leaves, finely chopped
170g arborio rice
250g pumpkin or squash (peeled weight), diced small
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Salt and ground black pepper
12-16 sage leaves
A piece of Parmesan or pecorino
Heat the stock until almost boiling, and then keep over a very low heat. In a heavy-based saucepan, sweat the onion in the oil until soft but not browned. Add the chopped sage and cook for a couple of minutes.
Now add the rice to the pot, stir to coat the grains with the oil, then pour in about a third of the hot stock and bring up to a gentle simmer. Cook until almost all the stock has been absorbed, stirring regularly but not all the time.
Add the pumpkin or squash and a little more stock, and continue to simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the stock has been absorbed. From now on, add more stock a little at a time until the pumpkin is soft and the rice nicely al dente. You may not need all the stock. The texture of the finished risotto should be loose and creamy.
When it is almost ready, heat the sunflower oil in a small pan and fry the whole sage leaves until crisp - this takes a matter of seconds - then transfer to kitchen towel. Stir the butter into the risotto and season well. Divide between four serving bowls and throw a few crispy sage leaves over each portion. Bring the cheese and a grater to the table for your guests to help themselves.
Labels: Recipes, vegetarian