Recipe: Wild Food – Bush tomato and roast pumpkin risotto

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Wild Food by Juleigh Robins

Wild Food by Juleigh Robins [©Penguin Books]


If you like risotto but wish there was a simpler way to make it and especially if you are vegetarian then this is the recipe for you. To ensure the best result use a good Italian carnaroli or arborio rice.

Serves 4

In her book Wild Food, author Juleigh Robins introduces us to the flavours of the wild with a collection of 100 recipes based on native ingredients sourced from the deserts, forests and bushland of Australia. Add an authentic piece of Australia to an Italian dish with this recipe for risotto.


600 g pumpkin, cut into 1-2 cm cubes

1/2 cup olive oil

1.5 litres vegetable (or chicken) stock

1 onion, finely diced

2 cups carnaroli or arborio rice

30g unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 ripe tomatoes, chopped

 ¼ cup ground bush tomato

1 teaspoon dried native mint

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped basil

grated or shaved parmesan or pecorino, to serve



Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Toss the pumpkin in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes until just tender.

Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan and keep it at a low simmer.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid, add the onion and rice and toss until the rice is thoroughly coated in oil. Add the hot stock to the rice, reduce the heat to low and cover with the lid. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, melt the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic, chopped tomato, bush tomato, native mint and roasted pumpkin and toss until heated through.

Remove the lid from the rice and stir, then arrange the pumpkin mixture evenly over the surface. The rice will have absorbed much of the stock but there will still be an obvious level of liquid in the pan at this stage. Do not adjust the temperature if the dish is cooking at a gentle simmer; if it is cooking at a greater rate, reduce the heat. Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and and leave with the lid on for 5 minutes. Stir in the basil and remaining olive oil and spoon into in large, flat bowls. Garnish with the cheese and serve immediately. wine suggestion:

The rich, full mouthfeel of risotto suggests a wine with some weight and body - without being too dominant - for whites an unoaked chardonnay or pinot grigio, for reds a merlot or perhaps even a sangiovese.



© Juleigh Robins. This recipe reproduced with the kind permission of the author and Penguin Books. Wild Food by Juleigh Robins is published by Penguin Books (June 2009) RRP A$55.  Subscribers and Members of and Winepros Archive can purchase Wild Food  from our book partners Seekbooks at 12.5% discount off RRP (postage extra).

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