Pumpkin and kale risotto with brown butter hazelnuts

Pumpkin and kale risotto with brown butter hazelnuts. Photo: Simon Lambert
Pumpkin and kale risotto with brown butter hazelnuts. Photo: Simon Lambert

This week, Alison Lambert shares the recipe for a delicious risotto.

This is one of the wonderful natural combinations which makes you hungry just reading about it. The natural sweetness and silky texture of the pumpkin mingling with the creamy rice and texture of the greens and nuts just works!

Pumpkin and kale risotto with brown butter hazelnuts 

Serves 4

600g pumpkin or butternut flesh, chopped into very small chunks
250g kale leaves, finely shredded
2 Tbsp olive oil
80g butter
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped, 1 whole sprig
1 garlic clove
1 small onion, finely diced
1 stick of celery, finely diced
300g arborio or carnaroli rice
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock, hot
50g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
70g hazelnuts, lightly crushed
50g butter
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste


Begin by cooking the pumpkin in a pan. Heat the oil and a third of the butter.

Add the garlic clove and rosemary sprig as this will enhance the pumpkin while it is cooking. Add the pumpkin and cook for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is very soft.

Remove the garlic clove and rosemary sprig.

Now on to the risotto. In a large wide-based pan add the remaining butter. Add the diced onions and celery and cook over a moderate heat until soft and translucent.

Add the rice and coat well in the onion mixture. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously.

Add a ladle-full of hot stock and stir to combine.

Add the pumpkin mixture and another ladle of stock gradually until it's been absorbed.

Now add the kale and more stock and continue until all the stock has been used up and been absorbed by the rice, stirring frequently to get the rice to absorb and soften as it cooks.

In a small pan add the 50g butter, hazelnuts and rosemary. Fry gently until the butter goes a light brown and gives off a wonderfully nutty fragrance. Take off the heat immediately!

Remove the risotto from the heat, season with a little salt and pepper, grate over a little nutmeg and beat in the Parmesan. Finish with a little drizzle of the brown butter and rosemary-infused hazelnuts.

Serve immediately with more Parmesan.

Alison Lambert is one of the demonstrators at the Otago Farmers Market in Dunedin on Saturday mornings.


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