Sunday, August 05, 2007

Silverbeet, pumpkin and feta risotto with brie toasties


There's nothing better on a cold winter's evening, when the wind is rattling the windows and the rain is pattering on the roof, to find yourself sitting snugly inside, tucking into a big bowl of risotto goodness. Unless, of course, it's finding a nice bottle of red to open just prior to sitting down and tucking in.

1/2 small Jap pumpkin, peeled and cut into smallish pieces
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch of silverbeet, washed well, leaves removed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups of arborio rice
1 litre of vegetable stock or water
100 grams of firm feta, crumbled

1 - Put the pumpkin into a medium sized saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then simmer pumpkin until tender. Drain the pumpkin, and mash. Set aside.

2 - Heat the stock or water until boiling. Turn down to a simmer.

3 - Meanwhile, heat the oil and then gently saute the onion until golden. Add the arborio rice and cook in the oil and onion for a minute or two.

4 - Begin adding a ladleful of stock to the rice. Stir well, until all the stock is absorbed. Keep adding the stock, a ladle at a time, until the rice is al dente, stirring frequently.

5 - At the stage add another ladle of the stock, plus the mashed pumpkin. Stir until the stock is absorbed.

6 - Add the silverbeet, and stir in until wilted. Take the risotto off the heat, then add in the feta. Divide into bowls and serve with the brie toasties.

Brie toasties
Now this isn't really what you'd call a necessary accompaniement to the risotto, but when you have some beautiful sourdough bread at home, and you've just popped into the cheese shop and come out with some super-ripe brie, what else can you do?

1 slice of sourdough bread per person
1 or two slices of brie per person, enough to cover the bread.

1 - Put the brie on the bread, and put under a grill. Grill until the brie is slightly bubbling, then serve.

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