The books say all that fibre in whole grains will help keep my digestive system regular. They're right. What's more, since I've been making this deliciously sensual, wholesome risotto recipe, I've even started using up some of those whole grains in my cupboard.
Tony Chiodo's risotto with pumpkin, peas, brown rice, barley and whole-wheat grain. Photo: Eddie Jim
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1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp white wine or mirin (rice wine)
2 cups pumpkin, cut into 1cm cubes
1½ cups short-grain brown rice
¼ cup pearled barley grain
¼ cup whole-wheat grain
4 cups water (in which all the above grains are soaked together overnight)
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp sweet white miso or freshly grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh peas, blanched until al dente
2 tbsp parsley leaves
pesto, for serving
Heat the oil in a heavy-based pot on a medium flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute with a sprinkling of sea salt for 3 minutes.
Throw in the wine and continue to saute while adding the pumpkin cubes.
Once all the moisture has evaporated, add the grains mixture together with the soaking water.
Bring to a rolling boil, add a teaspoon of sea salt, then cover and simmer for 50 minutes on a flame deflector.
When ready, spoon in the white miso or parmesan and black pepper and whip the rice with a wooden spoon, making sure to break up the pumpkin so it becomes cremoso.
Fold in the blanched peas and parsley and serve topped with dollops of fresh pesto.