Today was my very first rainy run here in Vancouver. Which is a surprise really since it’s raining more often than not. This morning I packed my little running backpack to take with me to work which gave me only one option to get back home again, by going for a run. Even though I have been here for almost 3 months now, I am still never prepared for the rain. Maybe it’s because when there happens to be a fresh beautiful BC sunny day I am lured in to this false sense of summer paradise where I think it surely can’t ever rain again. Until the next day when I am out in the middle of the street, waiting for the bus, soaked to the bone because I neither carried my umbrella nor wore my rain jacket. Always the same. Hopefully I learn before the winter is out.
Luckily for me there are some absolutely stunning running paths in this city and it makes getting out there in the rain a lot easier to do. When you are striding along the waterfront with the mountains in sight, the beach around the corner and the city lights burning in your peripheral it’s easy to get lost in your rhythm and it seems like you are experiencing several different locations all in one great place. I pounded the pavement and the beach feeling the freshness of just fallen icy cold rain and wound up at home an hour later (good practice for my New Years resolution of doing a marathon!) After exercising in the elements I needed a dinner that would not only warm me up but make me feel all homely and cosy inside. For me that meal is often a creamy risotto, I love the simplicity of a good risotto it’s an elegant meal that doesn’t require too much effort and really hits the spot on a rainy evening.
So tonight I had a buckwheat aborio mix with this pumpkin and caramelised onion risotto, you could use either just buckwheat or just aborio but I love the texture of the aborio rice and the nuttiness of the buckwheat so the mix is a great balance, check it out…
WHAT”S IN IT:
– 1 Red Onion – 1 T Balsamic Vinegar
– 1 T Brown Sugar – 1 T Olive Oil
1/2 C Buckwheat
1/2 C Aborio rice
2 – 3 C Vegetable stock
1/2 C Dry white wine (optional)
2 Garlic Cloves (crushed)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 C diced/cubed pumpkin or squash
1 T Olive Oil
1 T Butter
Finely shaved parmesan
HOW IT”S PUT TOGETHER:
1. Prepare the caramelised onions (can be done a few days in advance) by slicing the onion and mixing it with the sugar, vinegar and oil.
2. Cook the onions in a fry pan over medium to low heat for around 40 minutes until nicely cooked to caramelisation.
3. Prepare your stock in a pot and keep hot over the stove whilst you prepare your risotto.
4. Fry the garlic, oil, paprika and pumpkin in a pan over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant and soft. Add both the buckwheat and aborio rice and turn the heat up high.
5. When the rice looks translucent and the buckwheat is giving of a nutty flavour, pour over the white wine and listen to the beautiful sizzle as the alcohol burns off. Turn the heat back down to low.
6. Continuously add your stock, 1/2 C at a time, making sure that the liquid is completely absorbed before adding the next lot of stock. Do this until the rice and buckwheat is no longer crunchy.
7. Add your caramelised onions and butter and stir in to the risotto. Top with shaved parmesan and serve with fresh steamed greens. Get cosy and enjoy!
* It takes around 30-40 minutes for the pumpkin to be cooked and the rice to be creamy and cooked through.
** Serves 3