Walnuts and blue cheese are a classic partnership. Add pumpkin to the mix and you’ve got everything you need for a delicious risotto packed with winter flavours.
For this recipe we’ve used Victorian walnuts ( available from St James Walnuts, King Valley Walnuts and Alpine Nuts ), Weyhill Farm Garlic, Milawa Cheese Co. Mt Buffalo Blue, and Spring Creek Organics Pumpkin. All currently available at Melbourne Farmers Markets.
Milawa Cheese Co. is a family owned and run business. Committed to their local community, they have developed close working relationships with local farmers who produce high quality, clean and fresh milk from their cows and goats left to graze the lush pastures of the King Valley and Victorian High Country.
Made in small batches, the Mt Buffalo Blue used in this recipe is aged for 3-6 months and has a gentle, goaty flavour. It’s only available seasonally so make sure to get it while it lasts.
Roasting the pumpkin first before stirring through the risotto brings out the sweetness of the pumpkin and makes a delicious contrast to the bold blue cheese flavours and slight bitterness of the walnuts.
A note on pumpkin: you can use pretty much any variety of pumpkin or butternut squash for this recipe. Check out the different varieties Spring Creek Organics have available at your next local market.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1 small pumpkin
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 200ml water
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup Randall’s Organic Rice, Koshikikari
- 100g Milawa Cheese Co., Mt Buffalo Blue
- ½ cup walnuts lightly toasted (available from Alpine Nuts, St James Walnuts & King Valley Nuts)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Peel and dice the pumpkin, drizzle with olive oil and oven roast for 25 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Stand aside.
Finely dice the onion and garlic, sauté in olive oil until just soft on a low to medium heat, about three minutes.
Add the Arborio rice, stirring continuously to ensure the rice is coated in the oil and onion.
Add the vegetable stock in batches, waiting for the liquid to be absorbed before each next addition (500ml in total).
Add half of the roasted pumpkin, reserve the other half to stir through right at the end.
Continue topping up with water (200 ml) add more water if required to ensure the rice is cooked.
Once the liquids have been absorbed and rice is al dente, stir in the rest of the pumpkin, crumbled cheese and chopped walnuts.
Serve immediately, garnish with more cheese and walnuts.
Recipe by MFM contributor Vanessa Fletcher