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Pumpkin & Pearl Barley Risotto by Tom Kitchin

Pumpkin & Pearl Barley Risotto by Tom Kitchin
  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes


Supermarkets are loaded with tasty pumpkin during the autumn. Nutrient wise, it’s loaded with fibre to keep you full, rich in Vitamin A, which maintains healthy skin and it’s even been said to help you sleep better thanks to its serotonin boosting properties. 

  • Peel and chop the pumpkin into chunky wedges. You can also save and dry, then roast the pumpkin seeds, for a tasty snack.
  • Roast the pumpkin wedges in the oven for about 30 minutes at 180-200° until golden and well caramelised. Keep some nice pieces aside to garnish, purée the remaining roasted pumpkin in a blender until smooth. Reserve until later.
  • Put vegetable stock in a pan to heat.
  • Sweat the diced shallot in a little olive oil until completely soft. Then add the pearl barley and 50g of butter and lightly ‘roast’ the grains in the butter, without adding any colour.
  • When the grains appear translucent on the outside begin adding the heated stock, one ladle at a time, whilst stirring very gently but continuously to avoid the grains sticking to the pan.
  • Continue ladling stock and cooking until the grains are almost cooked through. Then stir in a 50g of butter and some of the pumpkin purée to create a nice orange colour.
  • When at the right consistency, remove from the heat and serve with roasted pumpkin seeds, the retained pumpkin pieces, chopped chives, crispy watercress leaves , a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan shavings.

Tom Kitchin will be at the BBC Good Food Show Scotland from 6th-8th November 2015.

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