The rest are set aside for use by the kitchen team and often we make pumpkin risotto which is sweet, savoury and very creamy.
If served in the half shell as in the photo it makes a great focal point for a starter or light main course served with a simple salad of rocket and bitter leaves.
- 1 medium pumpkin or butternut squash about 8 inches in diameter
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves and 1 sprig of thyme tied together
- 150g Arborio risotto rice
- 100ml olive oil
- 100g butter 50g parmesan
- 1 lemon
- 10 sage leaves
- Salt and pepper
Cut the pumpkin in half through the stem Scoop out the seeds, rub with salt and pepper and olive oil and place in the oven at 185oc, for about 40- 50 minutes, it needs to be cooked enough to get a spoon in the stem easily. Peel or cut the skin off the pumpkin and dice into roughly 1/2cm cubes. Have your vegetable stock hot and simmering on the back of the stove. Chop the onion into even dice and slice the garlic, place in a saucepan with nice heavy base, add the olive oil and cook gently for 10 or so minutes till tender. Add the rice and herbs, cook until opaque around the edges for a few minutes, this helps the rice release the starch later.
Throw a glass of medium white wine boil and stir, for two minutes; add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Now start to add the stock, to make a lovely risotto it is essential to judge the cooking of the rice. It should be lightly al dente, not soft or sloppy nor gritty or hard. Therefore we add a ladle of stock and stir constantly until the stock is absorbed then repeat. This takes about 20 minutes.
Keep biting on the rice as you stir and as it becomes al dente slow down with adding the stock. You want each grain of rice to be floating in a sheen of creaminess caused by the starch leaving the rice and mixing with the stock. This takes practice but it should be like rice pudding.
Once you have judged your rice whip in the diced butter to add sauciness and add the pumpkin.
Season with salt and pepper and plenty of grated parmesan and a good squeeze of lemon, pour into your warm pumpkin shell.
Scatter over some sage leaves that have been lightly fried in olive oil, serve to the table with a light salad, some wine and enjoy pleasing your guests. Recipe courtesy of Stuart at The Hundred House.