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Food

Maggie Beer's pumpkin, verjuice and extra virgin olive oil risotto

Preparation time
Cooking time
Serves
4

Maggie Beer is spot on with her match of Semillon, but why not try one from the home of Semillon in Australia, the Hunter Valley. Jackson’s Hill The Reserve Semillon 2014 is fresh and crisp with classic citrus flavours with a savoury edge , mouth-watering richness and persistent acid line.

Read our interview with Maggie Beer here

INGREDIENTS

  • 700g peeled pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1.5 litre chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 400g Arborio rice
  • ¾ cup of Maggie Beer Verjuice
  • 80g Parmesan cheese
  • 60g crème fraiche
  • 2 tbsp of chopped flat leaf parsley

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  2. Place the pumpkin pieces on a tray, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and cracked pepper. Bake in the oven at 200ºC for 10 minutes until pumpkin edges become a little caramelised.

  3. Deglaze the pumpkin with 3 tablespoons of verjuice and bake for a further 2 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

  4. Pour the stock into a saucepan and heat on stove over medium heat.

  5. In a wide-based pan, or shallow-sided large saucepan, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the butter and sauté onion on medium heat until golden. Add the rice and stir to coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then increase the temperature to medium-high.

  6. Make a well in the centre of the pan and add the remaining verjuice and continue to stir until the liquid evaporates.

  7. Reduce heat, adding a full ladle of stock at a time and stirring until stock has been absorbed by the rice. Repeat this process – adding stock ladle by ladle and stirring continuously until three quarters of the stock has been used. It should take 15-20 minutes.

  8. Add half the pumpkin and its juices. Increase the heat, add last of the stock (again, ladle by ladle and stirring continuously) and the remaining baked pumpkin.

  9. Remove pan from heat and stir in crème fraiche and about half of the Parmesan.

  10. Finally, top with the chopped flat-leaf parsley, some freshly-ground black pepper, the remaining Parmesan and drizzle with the remaining extra virgin olive oil. Serve.

Food
Preparation time
Cooking time
Serves
4

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Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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Sweet Creator: Anna Polyviou
Words by Jackie MacDonald on 8 Mar 2018
To be a successful pastry chef, it pays to follow the rules. Except if you’re Anna Polyviou. Then you take the rules, stick them in a blender and dye them pink. Vanilla is not a word you’d associate with Anna Polyviou. Far from ordinary, Sydney’s punk of pastry with her pink mohawk and facial piercings is a self-dubbed ‘sweet creator’ making a colourful impression.  In actual fact, vanilla is her favourite ingredient and while it might not be an in-your-face element, it’s fundamental to so many classic desserts. And that’s where it all begins when you become a pastry chef. You have to learn the classics to be able to build on them.  For Anna, the classics are those of her Greek heritage. One of her favourites is Loukoumades, Greek donuts, which, Anna describes, were a staple of her childhood church, where they were served fresh to the hungry congregation. “The old ladies would be pushing them through their hand and flipping them over and frying them and they were always perfectly round,” she recalls. “I used to go there just to eat, Mum would be like ‘Where is she? Why isn’t she in church?’ and I’m out there eating!”
While Anna always had a sweet tooth, the fact that she became a pastry chef was, she says, “a mistake.” She started out as an apprentice kitchen chef, but, she describes, “I was a bit of a wild child, all those nerdy chefs were sitting there really paying attention and I was out partying and having a great time.”  On the verge of losing her apprenticeship, Anna was thrown a lifeline by way of the chance to participate in a cooking competition with a team of four apprentices. Her role: pastry.  “I had no idea about pastry, so I went in every single day to learn,” she says.  When the big day arrived, though, her hard work went unrecognised.  “I lost that competition,” she recalls, “but I had given so much of my time and energy and I remember crying in the corner and saying to Mum, ‘I don’t understand, I did so well and my dessert was honestly better than everyone else’s.’ That’s how I saw it.”  But like most sensible mums, Anna’s saw the valuable lesson in the loss.  “She was like, ‘My daughter really needs to know how to lose before she learns to win.’” 
For the full story and recipes from Anna, pickup a copy of Selector  from all good newsagents, subscribe or look inside your next Wine Selectors delivery.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
1 case has been added to your cart.
Cart total: xxx
1 case, 12 bottles, 3 accessories