Below is a recipe that I created a few weeks ago while in my vegetarian cuisine lab at school. Each week we are all assigned a component of the meal and we need to create a recipe based on that and what our lecture and demo are on that day. Right before break our lecture and demo were on fruits and nuts and I was assigned the entrée portion of the meal. One thing I really love about this class is that we have the freedom to create recipes each week instead of being handed a recipe and asked to make it, or our twist on it. It took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to make that I could incorporate fruits and nuts in it.
I decided to start with my favorite “blank canvas”…a risotto! The idea just grew from there. I looked around the kitchen saw some golden raisins, pine nuts (one of my favorite nuts), baby spinach, and sweet potatoes (another favorite of mine!). I didn’t want the risotto to turn out sweet (because of the raisins), so I added a bit of cinnamon and grated Gruyere cheese instead of the traditional Parmesan cheese.
My chef and class really enjoyed the flavor combination and I can’t wait to make this again. Hope you all enjoy it.
Sweet Potato and Pine Nut Risotto
A hearty risotto with sweet potatoes, pine nuts, golden raisins, and spinach, a savory dish with a hint of sweetness.
Yield: 3 cups Serving Size: ½ cup Number of Servings: 6
- Vegetable Stock 4 cups
- Sweet Potato, brunoise 4 ounces
- Shallot, fine brunoise 2 teaspoons
- Garlic, fine brunoise 2 teaspoons
- Olive Oil, divided 4 tablespoons
- Cinnamon, ground 1/8 teaspoon
- Ginger, grated ¼ teaspoon
- Arborio Rice 1 cup
- Pine Nuts, toasted ¼ cup
- Golden Raisins ¼ cup
- Spinach, fresh ½ cup
- Wine, white ¼ cup
- Pepper, white 1/8 teaspoon
- Gruyere cheese, grated ¼ – ½ cup
- Parsley, chopped 1 tablespoon
Method of Preparation
- Gather all ingredients and equipment.
- Heat vegetable stock in a medium pot to a simmer, then lower heat to keep warm.
- Wash and peel the sweet potato, then wash again.
- Brunoise the sweet potato and set aside.
- Peel the shallot and garlic. Cut brunoise and set aside.
- In a large, heavy bottom skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add brunoise sweet potatoes and cook until lightly browned.
- Sprinkle the sweet potatoes with cinnamon and toss to coat. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
- In the same skillet add the remaining three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add shallots and cook for two minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for an additional minute.
- Add rice and stir to evenly coat with oil. Cook for one minute, until there is a slight nutty aroma, you do not want the rice to brown.
- Add 1 cup of stock to rice and stir constantly until almost absorbed.
- When the stock is almost absorbed, add an additional cup of stock. Repeat until the grains of rice are tender with a slight bite to them. About 20 minutes.
- Add pine nuts, raisins, spinach, sweet potatoes, and wine. Stir until evenly incorporated and spinach has wilted.
- Season with pepper and stir to incorporate evenly.
- Remove from heat and add in cheese. Stir well.
- Add parsley, and stir to incorporate.
- Serve immediately.