When cooking with beer, recipes can be fairly hard to come by so at the moment I often find myself playing the substitution game. You might’ve noticed that a lot of my FB posts are some pretty stock standard meals with beer either added or used in the place of another ingredient. Bear in mind that I’m still fairly new to this and learning things as I go along. I hope to get a little more creative in future.
I also have to point out that it’s not very often I cook something sans viande, so live it up while you can, vegetarians. If you do want to add some meat (or perhaps have the risotto as a side) the best option for this dish would no doubt be chicken. Make sure to substitute the vegetable stock for chicken stock if you’re taking this path.
What you need:
- 600g Kent pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 2cm pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup shredded fresh sage
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 tbsp butter
- 160ml Witbier
- 60g baby spinach
- Parmesan cheese to serve
What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Place pumpkin on a lined baking tray. Spread one of the crushed garlic cloves amongst the pumpkin. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and a little pepper. Roast until tender (about 20 minutes).
2. Bring stock to boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low and hold at a gentle simmer.
3. Heat the ½ cup of oil in a large frying pan over low heat. Once heated, add the sage and lemon rind and remove from the heat immediately and stir through. Pour into a small jug or bowl and set aside to cool, keeping about a tablespoon of the oil in the fry pan.
4. Heat the residual oil over medium heat. Add onion and remaining garlic and cook until onion has softened. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring, until the grains become glassy. Add the tablespoon of butter and stir until melted. Pour in the Witbier and stir until reduced by half.
5. Add stock a ladleful at a time, and cook, stirring, until all liquid is absorbed before adding more stock. Continue with remaining stock or until rice is tender and the risotto is creamy.
6. Stir through baby spinach until wilted. Add roasted pumpkin and stir through gently. To serve, top with parmesan and a generous drizzle of the sage and lemon oil.
For a healthier option you can skip the lemon and sage oil but you will be compromising on flavour. The lemon in particular really lifts this dish to the next level and compliments the contrasts to the creaminess of the pumpkin and the risotto. If you want to skimp, take out the butter in Step 4 and keep the oil.