Sometimes, wires cross in funky ways and turn out things that are just plain awesome. In my quest to do exciting things with pumpkins, a conversation with a colleague over lunch sold me on a great idea: pumpkin risotto. Also lately, I’ve been reading a lot about “quinottos” lately – using quinoa to make a risotto-like dish. So as I was sitting on the couch the other day thinking about what I might eat these days, it suddenly hit me: pumpkin quinotto. I’m pleased to let you know that as culinary ideas go, this was quite a good one! Not that I’ve reinvented the wheel, but I made this without any guidance (hence, I’m also a bit uncertain on the quantities… just keep an eye on the texture while making this). I set out with my basic risotto recipe and what little I know about cooking quinoa and – bazinga! It worked.
Ingredients (2 portions):
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- olive oil
- 75g (black) quinoa
- 150 ml vegetable stock
- white wine
- 3 tbsp pumpkin purée (recipe here)
- about 6 small-medium brown champignons, cubed
- 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1-2 tbsp goats cheese
- 2 tsp grated parmesan
- 1 knob butter
- a few fresh sage leaves (about 5-6 for this amount of quinotto).
Rinse the quinoa (some people seem to soak it for 1-2 hours before cooking it, which reduces cooking time from 20-25 to about 10 minutes. For this quinotto I wouldn’t soak it. This gives you the chance to work in all the ingredients during the cooking process).
Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan. Lower the heat and cook the onions until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook a little more. Crank up the heat and add the quinoa. Fry for a few minutes, then add a healthy dash of white wine. Lower the heat. Once the wine has almost evaporated (keep stirring!), add some of the vegetable stock to cover the quinoa. Keep on stirring and adding vegetable stock as needed. After about 10 minutes, add the pumpkin purée and massage it into the quinoa/veg stock mix. After another five minutes, add the champignons, the ground ginger and the nutmeg. Keep stirring and adding stock if needed.
Towards the end of the quinoa’s cooking time, melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the sage leaves in it until crispy.
Once the quinoa is cooked, turn off the heat, but leave it on the hob (if you’re on a gas hob, maybe keep it on a very small flame). Stir in the goats cheese, the sage leaves (and the remaining melted butter from the pan), and the parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!