Roasted Pumpkin and Leek Risotto
This risotto recipe stars roasted pumpkin and leeks to make a delicious bowl of comfort food with loads of flavour and brilliant for autumn cooking. I’m working with the British Leek Growers’ Association to create a handful of recipes focusing on the versatility of leeks in every day cooking.
What’s in this recipe?
Leeks- Swapping onions for leeks in this recipe as they give a delicious sweet flavour that works with the pumpkin. I’ve chopped them really finely for this recipe to sweat down in a pot at the start of the recipe.
Pumpkin- It’s autumn when I’m writing up this recipe and millions of pumpkins are thrown in landfill every halloween. Make sure to use up your pumpkin in a tasty recipe such as this one. I’ve roasted the pumpkin as I think that it’s the best way to enjoy pumpkin as it caramelises whilst baking.
White wine- For a while I tried making risotto without wine and have come to the conclusion it just doesn’t work without it! You don’t have to use anything fancy, but it definitely helps with the recipe to include it.
Arborio – For a good risotto you want the correct rice. Using arborio will give you a creamy risotto as it has a higher starch content. You want to add the stock a little at a time as it likes to absorb slowly.
Add the stock slowly: Risotto rice (arborio) loves to absorb liquid slowly. A good tip is to add around 250ml of the stock at a time until it has absorbed it, then add the next ladle full.
Roast the squash– I like roasting the pumpkin as it gives a delicious caramel like flavour to it. You can cube it into small pieces and simply add it to the risotto along with the leeks, however I love to add it in at the end once roasted.
Sweat off the leeks- You can use butter or olive oil to sweat off the finely diced leeks depending on preference, if you put the lid on top of the pot it’ll help create steam to sweat them down.
Use those pumpkin or squash seeds- Don’t throw away the seeds from the pumpkin, simply remove the stringy bits of the pumpkin that holds it together, place on the tray with the pumpkin and roast for around 15 minutes
Top with fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil- I love risottos when they have fragrant herbs and rich extra virgin olive oil on top of each serving.
Roasted Pumpkin and Leek Risotto
A delicious risotto for autumn with pumpkins being full in season. Vegan friendly, comfort food and easy to make this recipe is perfect for batch cooking.
- 1 small pumpkin cut into 3cm cubes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried thyme and dried sage
- Save the pumpkin seeds to roast
- 2 leeks around 220g
- 2 tbsp of butter vegan or dairy
- 3 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 120 g arborio rice
- 250 ml white wine
- 900 ml vegetable stock we use boiling water and stock cube
- Generous pinch of salt and pepper to season
- 1/2 lemon squeezed
- fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Chop the pumpkin, toss in the oil and herbs then roast on a tray for 40 minutes, turn over after around 30 minutes
Prep the ingredients for the risotto, then add the leeks to a large pot with the butter and sweat down for around 5 minutes
Add the minced garlic, continue to fry for two minutes before adding the arborio rice, fresh chopped thyme and toss until coated
Add the white wine and allow the rice to absorb, followed by adding a ladle full of the vegetable stock at a time until each bit has been absorbed by the rice, season generously with salt and pepper
For the final ten minutes of baking, add the pumpkin seeds to the tray of pumpkin and allow to roast
Once the rice has fully absorbed the stock add the roasted squash to the pot, squeeze in 1/2 lemon juice, season again to taste and serve up. Top with the toasted pumpkin seeds and chopped walnuts
Vegan Asparagus and Shiitake Mushroom Risotto
This asparagus and shiitake risotto is vegan and gluten free. It’s easy to make and just takes 30 minutes of stirring to create a delicious hearty week-night meal. Asparagus season is here so let’s celebrate with a recipe that works perfectly with the shiitake mushrooms.
What’s in the recipe?
Asparagus – Celebrating the season of asparagus, try and find locally grown asparagus to help cut down on air miles.
Shiitake Mushrooms- I’ve used shiitake as the texture is slightly meaty agains the fluffy rice, however you could easily swap this for whatever mushrooms you have available.
Arborio Rice- This short grain rice is perfect for risottos and is readily available in most supermarkets. You can swap this for bulgar wheat, follow the same process but remember to soak the wheat for a few hours before.
Vegan Butter- I’ve used the flora salted butter because it is a really good vegan alternative to butter. You want at least 2 heaped tbsp in this recipe to make a delicious creamy risotto.
Stock- I use boiled water and vegetable stock cubes for this, it’s cheap and easy to make. You can use a home made stock if you prefer.
Lemon- To cut through the salty, herby, creamy risotto, you need a good squeeze of lemon juice for acidity to really help the risotto have a full and round flavour profile.
Seasoning- I can’t express how important salt and pepper is to this recipe – don’t be scared of seasoning! Get generous with the seasoning and enjoy.
Risotto Cooking Tips
Absorb- Letting the rice absorb each ladle of stock before adding the next is crucial. It’s important not to add it all at once, it may mean taking time to stir it through but it’s worth it.
Seasoning- Don’t be shy of the salt and pepper for this recipe.
White wine- I’m not fussy when it comes to what wine you use for risotto. I won’t pretend to be a connoisseur so just choose a wine anywhere from £4-7 and it’ll do the job!
Asparagus and Shiitake Risotto
Vegan and gluten free asparagus and shiitake risotto recipe perfect for batch cooking. Easy to make, just takes 30 minutes of stirring and you have a delicious hearty week night meal.
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 250 g asparagus
- 2 tbsp butter
- 120 g shiitake mushrooms chopped
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Salt & pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 150 g arborio rice risotto rice
- 550 ml veg stock I used boiling water and a stock cube
- 200 ml white wine
- Squeeze 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to top when serving
Start by finely chopping the garlic and add to a large pot with the butter, place on a low- medium heat
After a few minutes add the chopped shiitake mushrooms and fry for a further five minutes
Add the seasoning and the dried herbs then add the risotto rice and toss in all of the flavours before adding the white wine, then leave to absorb
Add the vegetable stock a ladle at a time allowing it to absorb before adding the next bit, continue this process until all of the stock has been used
When add the last ladle of stock add the asparagus stalks so they can soften for the last few minutes of cooking
After 3 minutes squeeze in 1/2 lemon juice, season generously season with black pepper and salt before serving and enjoy. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to the top of each bowl when serving (optional)
If you snap the ends off your asparagus, finely chop them up and add to the pot along with the mushrooms to prevent food waste
Roasted Tomato and Garlic Risotto
This risotto recipe is vegan friendly and gluten free, filled with garlic and roasted tomatoes. If you are looking for a recipe to make in the week or to batch cook, give this risotto a try. It’s so easy to make with just a few key ingredients.
What’s in this risotto?
Arborio rice- Perfect for risotto, this rice works best if you add a little stock at a time until it absorbs it and repeat until all stock has absorbed
White wine- You don’t have to have anything fancy for this recipe, just choose a cheap – mid range price and it will work beautifully to add flavour and creamyness.
Garlic- I’ve added 5 cloves into this recipe to give it tonnes of flavour. You can add a little less if you prefer.
Tomatoes- Using cherry and vine tomatoes for this recipe gives a delicious sweetness to work with the acidity. You can use which ever tomatoes you have at hand.
Why arborio rice?
This is traditionally used in risottos, but you can swap this for soaked bulgur wheat if you would rather that grain. As mentioned before, to get a delicious and creamy risotto, toast the rice in the pan with the butter, garlic and onion before adding the stock. When adding the risotto stock, add a little at a time as you want it to absorb it slowly.
If you want to make this extra indulgent, add 70g of vegan cheese (I’d recommend either a cheddar style or even a smoked vegan cheese) to make this beautifully rich. For a cheesy like topping I added 1 tbsp nutritional yeast.
Tomato & Garlic Risotto
Easy Vegan and Gluten Free Risotto. This is perfect for batch cooking, easy to make and so creamy and delicious. You wouldn't know it's vegan friendly so perfect to make for friends and family. Just a few key ingredients and simple steps to make it.
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 banana shallots
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 5 cloves garlic
- 350 g tomatoes
- 150 g risotto rice
- 400 ml veg stock
- 150 ml white wine
- 1/2 tsp salt
- salt & pepper
- drizzle of olive oil
Start by placing the tomatoes in a baking dish with a drizzle of olive oil and roast at 180ºC for 25 minutes
Finely chop the shallots and celery, add to a deep pot with the vegan butter and fry for around 5 minutes
Finely chop or mince the garlic cloves and add to the pot, fry for around 2 minutes before adding the risotto rice to the pot
Pour in the white wine and toss the rice until its covered and allow to absorb
After a minute slowly add the vegetable stock by just adding 1/2 cup at a time until it has absorbed, then pour in the next 1/2 cup until you've added all the stock
Generously season with salt and pepper and taste, adding a little more seasoning if needed
By this point the tomatoes should be baked, take out of the oven, de-stalk and add to the pot and gently mush with the back of a fork so they release their delicious tomato juice into the risotto
Optional toppings: watercress, chopped parsley and nutritional yeast
If your risotto is looking a little dry, add a little more boiling water at a time until to get that beautiful creamy texture.
You can add other veg such as asparagus or chargrilled peppers would also work
Season before serving and feel free to add fresh herbs such as parsley or top with watercress
Optional topping: 1 tbsp nutritional yeast