This quinoa version of risotto needs less attention than the rice version. Tri colour quinoa is cooked with stock to give it more flavour and then it is quickly cooked in a creamy cheese mixture and topped with cubes of roasted pumpkin. Easy peasy and cheesy!
This risotto doesn't clump or need constant stirring. It's a set and forget dish that comes together quickly in the last part and keeps well. It's based on one of the dishes we had in Peru recently at a beautiful house called Hacienda Sarapampa where they grow giant corn. There chef Yasmin Sumar stuffed yellow peppers with this mix. She also gave us all a tip on how to cook quinoa and that was to rinse it very well around 4-5 times or to cook it in plenty of water like pasta to get rid of the bitter saponins that affect the taste.
It was so delicious that everyone asked for the recipe and when they kindly sent it, I was delighted to see how simple it was. I decided to make a version with roasted pumpkin cubes instead of stuffing it into a pepper but by all means if you want a lovely presentation it would be a great stuffed vegetable filling.
Did you know that quinoa is actually a vegetable, or more specifically the seed of a vegetable that if it were allowed to sprout would produce a vegetable? Because it isn't a grain it makes it good for those who are on a gluten free diet.
It is also high in protein and nine amino acids and for this reason it is popular with vegetarians who are looking for protein sources. I've had to alter my diet slightly with my new diagnosis (sorry to keep going on about it) and I was hoping to have the results of my pin prick allergy test to share.
Alas when I turned up yesterday to get my scratch test they didn't tell me that I had to wait at least six weeks between when I last had the adrenaline shot (which they really should have told me before we booked in!). So I have to wait until the third week of October to get a solution which seems like forever and a day. On the upside I have a brand spanking new epi pen as an accessory!
But back to this risotto. Mr NQN dislikes risotto. He finds it too heavy and rich and stops after he has eaten half a bowl. But he really liked this one and polished it off. I marvelled at at something that has so few ingredients tastes so delicious!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like quinoa? Have you ever tried quinoa risotto? And did you know the tip about getting rid of the saponins?
Quinoa Risotto with Roasted Pumpkin
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott, adapted from chef Yasmin Sumar
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup tri colour quinoa, cooked*
- 1 cup pumpkin cubes
- Oil for drizzling and frying
- 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
- 1 cup cream
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- Parsley, salt and pepper
How to cook quinoa: rinse 1 cup of quinoa 4-5 times until the water runs completely clear. Add 4 cups of stock and the rinsed quinoa to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Drain if there is any extra stock.
Step 1 - While it is cooking, roast the pumpkin. Preheat oven to 200C/400F and line a tray with parchment. Place the pumpkin cubes and drizzle with oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until caramelised and cooked.
Step 2 - Heat a frypan on medium high heat and saute the onions until soft. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add the drained quinoa and cream and parmesan cheese and heat through until the cream reduces a little (it will only take a minute or two). Season with salt and pepper and serve topped with the pumpkin cubes, parsley and extra cheese.