I had intended to a plain old oven baked pumpkin risotto tonight which is yummy and easy to throw together but I needed more flavour in my life. In thinking of what vegetable I had that would combine well with pumpkin, I remembered a recipe I’ve been dying to try for ages and a heap of blanched cauliflower I had hidden in the freezer. I buy up big on organic produce when it is at it’s cheapest and blanch and freeze it to pad out my weekly f & v shop without totally destroying the budget. So whilst I’m still dying to try the original cauliflower recipe, I’ve had a glimpse of it’s potential by combining it into my risotto. The result packed a fabulous punch of flavour. Even the Bread Winner enjoyed it and he doesn’t like pumpkin, cauliflower or anchovies. You could omit the anchovy sauce and make a vegetarian dish out of this if ideology dictates that you should.
Pumpkin and Cauliflower Oven Baked Risotto
1 large piece pumpkin
1/4 head cauliflower
2/3 cup wine
3 anchovies in olive oil
3 tablespoon extra virgin oilive oik
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups water or chicken stock
1 cup arborio rice
30g butter, chopped
grated grana padano to serve

Cut pumpkin into cubes and cauliflower into small chunks or slice. Place on baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle dukkah lightly over the top. Bake in a moderate oven for 1 hour. The pumpkin and cauliflower need to darken up in colour. Don’t discard any burnt looking bits, they are veritable power houses of flavour.

Meanwhile, make anchovy sauce. This is an emulsion and I made it in the thermomix. I don’t think it would be successful in a food processor as the blades don’t sit low enough so I would use mortar and pestle as in the original recipe if I didn’t have a thermomix. Sadly and strangely, I have completely run out of garlic or I would have used some. Place 3 anchovies in the thermomix with 2 tablespoons lemon juice. 5 seconds on speed 8. Then slowly drizzle in oil with thermomix running on speed 3.

Place pumpkin, cauliflower and rice into a large ovenproof dish. Stir in stock, wine and anchovy sauce. Top with butter. Cover dish tightly with a lid or foil.

Bake in a moderate (180) oven for 30 – 40 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Top with grated grana padano to serve