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Classic zesty pumpkin risotto from In Praise of Veg

Servings: 4


  • 2 ¾ oz unsalted butter
  • 3 French shallots finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 cups coarsely grated pumpkin (winter squash)
  • 1 ½ cups arborio rice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups just-boiled water
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 ¾ oz parmesan, finely grated, plus extra shavings to serve
  • Persian feta to serve
  • 1 bunch of parsley leaves picked and finely chopped, stems finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives to serve


  • Melt 60 g (2 oz) of the butter in a large, wide heavy- based frying pan or saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes or so, until it starts sizzling, then pop on a lid for 5 minutes and reduce the heat. Lift the lid and stir for a minute or so, until softened and translucent.
  • Add the garlic and pumpkin and cook for 2 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Stir in the rice and olive oil and cook for 3 minutes to toast and coat each grain in butter.
  • Remove from the heat, pour in the hot water and stir to combine. Return to a low heat and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Pour in ½ cup (125 ml) of the stock and continue the process, adding the remaining stock ½ cup (125 ml) at a time until the rice is cooked through and has absorbed most of the liquid. This usually takes around 18 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice, the remaining 20 g (¾ oz) butter and the parmesan. Close the lid and let everything relax for a minute or so.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the feta over and serve scattered with the parsley, chives and extra parmesan.

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