FOOD BLOG - Brown Rice Risotto with Pumpkin, Mushrooms & Sage
A Labor of Love. Stirred to Perfection.
Sweet creamy pumpkin, earthy buttery mushrooms, fresh robust sage, with nutty brown rice...all synced together into a big bowl of comfort and nutritious richness... This is one of my favourite recipes. Guaranteed to soothe the soul in such a satisfying way. Anyone who has made a risotto (minus a thermomix) knows that this ricey creation takes patience. It is a labour of love!
When time permits in the hectic kaleidoscope of life, I like to get stirring. Standing idle with the constant methodical movement of spoon in hand, immersed in delicious flavors. Gently nudging the ingredients to release mouth watering scents that tickle my nose to happiness. For me, making a risotto is a therapeutic time-out from the world.
Risotto’s are a versatile dish in which you can use a diverse range of ingredients to meet your desires. To make risotto you simply cook a specific rice (arborio) in a broth to form a creamy consistency. They make a fantastic starter, delicious main meal, or can even be served as a dessert. My recipe starring in this post works best as a main meal. Although it takes time, it is super easy to create and tastes nothing short of amazing.
Brown rice risotto with pumpkin, mushrooms and sage is super tasty. A winner of a dish. All the ingredients work beautifully together. Wonderfully delicious, healthy and nutritious. This gorgeous recipe is full of fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals to fuel your body and induce a feeling of fantastic.
Pumpkin contains a rich source of beta-carotene and vitamin A, which promotes good eye function. Fiber is also found in this vegetable, along with the rice to enhance bowel and gastrointestinal health. Swiss brown mushrooms not only taste sensational but harbor essential minerals and vitamins like vitamin B2 (riboflavin), biotin, niacin and pantothenic acid and folate. These play different roles in the body like assisting nerve function, maintaining healthy cells and for growth and development. Fresh sage leaves contain phenolic acids, volatile oils and flavonoids, thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Lastly, aborio brown rice, a short grain rice delivers an excellent source of carbohydrate and fiber to the body.
Brown rice differs from the white variety and takes longer to cook. I prefer to use brown rice over white as it contains more nutrition, tastes awesome and has a nice chewy but creamy texture. When making this lovely risotto it is important to parboil (pre-cook) the brown rice to reduce cooking time. This will be explained in the method. This recipe is seriously comforting, delish and hearty. Give it a go. I promise you will love it.
Brown Rice Risotto with Pumpkin, Mushrooms & Sage
2 x Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups of Aborio brown rice (short grain brown rice)
200g x Butternut pumpkin, diced
1 x small brown onion (or half a larger sized), finely chopped
150g x Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
2 x Garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
2 x Tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped
4 cups of Hot vegetable stock/broth *
2 x good handful of fresh baby spinach leaves
Sea salt and racked black pepper to taste
*Vegetable stock can be made using cubes or stock powder. Health food shops (and some supermarkets) normally stock low salt, gluten free and preservative free varieties. You can also make your own homemade version. To make it a hot stock, simply simmer in a saucepan over a low heat.
Pre-heat Oven to 200 degrees celsius. Line a roasting pan/tray with baking paper. Lightly grease paper with olive oil.
Parboiling the rice. Follow packet instructions for washing/cleaning the rice. (if no instructions, just give a good rinse under a colander, with running water and then drain). Place the rice in a small saucepan with 4 x cups of water and bring to boil, uncovered. Reduce heat to a simmer, add cover and cook for 15 minutes. Drain water and set aside.
Place diced pumpkin evenly on roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Cook the pumpkin in the oven for 15 minutes, until almost tender.
In a small saucepan add stock. Heat to a gentle simmer. This is to stay warm throughout the cooking process. (I used my small saucepan containing the stock, on a small heating plate, next to the the large saucepan for making the risotto).
Using a large saucepan, bring it to medium heat. Add 1 x Tablespoon of olive oil. Swirl to coat. Heat oil for 1 minute. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Gently cook for a few minutes, until softened and smelling delicious.
Add parboiled rice to the saucepan with onions and garlic. Gently stir to mix ingredients together for 1 minute, and to coat the rice in the oil. Reduce the heat and add 2 x ladlefuls of hot stock. Stir gently over a low simmering heat, until the liquid is absorbed into the rice.
Continue to add the stock, 1 ladleful at a time to the rice whilst gently stirring. With each ladleful make sure the liquid has absorbed into the rice before adding another. The process is gentle, slow and therapeutic.
After approximately 20 minutes, add the pumpkin and chopped fresh sage leaves. Continue to cook the risotto with stirring, adding a ladleful of stock at a time, and allowing each ladleful to absorb into the rice. Once all the stock has been added continue to cook and stir over a low heat until you have a nice creamy, thick appearance. Turn off the heat and stir in the fresh spinach leaves until wilted. Taste the risotto to make sure you have the desired texture. Your risotto should be cooked al dente (cooked but with a slightly chewy texture). If it’s not cooked enough return to a low heat and add more stock. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh sage leaves.
The whole cooking process of the risotto in the large saucepan takes around 40-45 minutes.
Eat and enjoy!