Porcini Risotto with Caramelised Pumpkin & Pesto

porcini risotto

Another full vegan dinner that leaves you deeply satisfied!
1 small butternut pumpkin, cubed
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups of warm water
4-5 cups vegetable stock (make your own or use stock cube)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided (divided, coat pan for risotto, garnish risotto, and use remainder for pesto)
4 cloves garlic, minced (3 for risotto, 1 for pesto)
1 red onion, finely chopped
1½ cups aborio rice (or use short grain brown rice for a nutty, healthier option)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
small bunch parsley (for risotto)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (divided – mostly for risotto, save some for the pesto) – this acts as a parmesan substitute
Large bunch fresh basil leaves (for pesto)
small handful pinenuts (for pesto)
1 lemon (divided, 1/2 for risotto, 1/2 for pesto)
seasoning (quality salt & pepper)
Spinach leaves (optional)
Cube and season pumpkin with salt, pepper and oregano then bake in a high oven until soft and caramelised (approx 30mins but depends on oven)
In a small bowl, combine the dried porcini mushrooms and the warm water. Let soak for about 5 minutes. Squeeze the excess water from the mushrooms, saving the water.
Combine the mushroom water and vegetable stock in a small sauce pan on the stove. Keep warm over medium-low heat.
In a large deep pan add olive oil, onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add rice and apple cider vinegar and stir until it evaporates.
Ladle the stock that’s been keeping warm into the pot until it covers the top of the rice. Lower the heat to medium. Let the mixture cook, stirring occasionally until the stock is absorbed. Continue to ladle in the stock, stirring as you go. With the last ladle of stock, add the porcini mushroom to the pot and stir. The rice should cook in 20minutes so time it and also check the rice is cooked but not mushy – al dente is best.
Add more stock or water if needed to keep the risotto creamy, then add in nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. Add pumpkin in and stir OR serve pumpkin on top (as in pic)
Place the pine nuts, basil, garlic and nutritional yeast in mortar & pestle or food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the oil, lemon juice and seasoning.
Serve with English spinach leaves as garnish (optional)

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