Today is creative Wednesday, this afternoon I have prepared roasted pumpkin for tonight’s dinner but I have not planned what to go with it. While I was cooking the risotto, I thought just pumpkin and risotto sound a bit plain so I looked into the fridge, not much available really as we will be away for the weekend so did not stock up much. Previously I would grill some tiger prawns to go with the pumpkin risottobut I was a bit lazy. The reason why I rustic roasted the pumpkin is because it requires least effort to prepare with extremely satisfactory results. And I can spend more time with Marc.
The idea of using Smoked tofu was inspired by my favorite vegetarian restaurant in Basel/ Zurich called Tibits. They use a lot of tofu in their dishes, so I thought just be brave and give a try. I asked Peter if he dared to try my creative dish, he said I had to right and in the end he had second. He was still having a teleconference when I placed his plate in front of him and I could see his face looked surprised when I spontaneously decided to crush a little amaretti biscuit on top, a little sweetness matched well to the pumpkin : ) I am truly proud of my dish tonight and very happy with the inspiration I had in the last minute! Sometimes you just have to try, if you never try, you never know. I love smoked tofu, they keep quite long in the fridge and becomes handy and is a great alternative to meat.
Due to time constraint, please excuse me that I am not going to write all step of my risotto, since the basic of how to make a risotto is everywhere, I don’t want to repeat. I will highlight the things I have done in my risotto.
- I have used Japanese sake instead of white wine when cooking the onion and risotto (the step before you add the stock). You can’t tell that I have not used white wine at all.
- Don’t feel strange that I have used spring onion in risotto, actually the Swiss and Dutch use spring onion in their cooking a lot too. In the past, I thought spring onion is only used in Asian cooking.
- To roast pumpkin in a rustic way:
- Preheat oven at 220°C, cut pumpkin into pieces, about 3cm x 3cm, do not remove the seeds, place them in a baking tray, sprinkle some freshly ground salt and black pepper, drizzle generous amount of walnut oil & extra virgin olive oil (50/50), this oil and the pumpkin seeds will keep the pumpkin flesh from frying out. Sprinkle your favorite herbs, I have used majoram, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. Toss with your hand or wooden spoon to mix well. Roast in the oven for 30-40 mins. I roasted for 32 mins this time as I do not want my pumpkin too brown.
- I felt Ambercup Squash is more stringy (thready) than butternut squash which I normally use and more water content, therefore instead of adding the pumpkin at a later stage, this time, I added the roasted pumpkin shortly after I began adding the stock. As results we did not see any stringiness in our risotto and it has become a very creamy risotto.
- For baby Marc, I skipped the smoked tofu for him.
Ingredients for risotto:
- 2 cups of roasted pumpkin ( I have used ambercup squash this time)
- 1 cup risotto
- onion, finely chopped
- smoked tofu, cut into small cubes, mix in just before serve
- spring onion, cut into small pieces, use the white part first
- parmesan cheese
- vegetable stock (you can use chicken stock which I have used here if you are not vegetarian)
- pinch of curry powder
- pinch of cumin powder
- spring onion, green parts
- smoked paprika
- amaretti biscuit (crush half for each plate)
- parmesan cheese (serve on table)
- ground pepper (serve on table)
Dare to give a try!
Nice view in Allschwil, Basel-Land
If you like pumpkin, you may like to check out my best ever pumpkin soup recipe.