Monday, November 16, 2009

Forbidden Rice Risotto with Roasted Pumpkin and Chinese Broccoli



It’s forbidden, it’s black and it’s sexy. Black equals power while forbidden sounds captivating, at least in my own dictionary of food. While this black rice is not as gorgeous compared to the Lotus brand, the product that I’m using helps local farmers get better income. What’s so special about forbidden rice aside from the name is that in ancient China, this black rice was such a rarity with very high nutrition content and it’s only reserved for the Emperor of China, hence the word forbidden.



While forbidden rice signifies strength and stamina, I would like to pair this with the innocent and sweet roasted pumpkin. The black rice turns deep purple when cooked and it’s a great background for colorful vegetables.




I’ve wanted to use roasted pumpkin in other dishes aside from making soups and salads and a risotto dish is just perfect. I roasted about one pound of pumpkin even if I’m only using about half of it. They are great mashed with a dollop of Greek yogurt, honey and sea salt.



I absolutely love Chinese broccoli and its bitter flavor and they pair perfectly with the roasted pumpkin. Choose the smaller ones with as they have more tender stems and leaves. I love stir-frying them with chili pepper flakes and garlic. They can be served on its own or tossed with pasta.



When cooking risotto, choosing the right pan is important. Check out this video Choosing a Good Pan for Risotto from Rouxbe Online Cooking School.

Rouxbe Online Cooking School & Video Recipes

If you are experiencing cooler weather in your area, this would be a great dish to do as they are warming to the body most particularly the kidney organ. And if you have autumn season, this is a great way to slow down and unwind while still being active. Risotto is exactly that. It’ also a pure comfort food not only as the finished dish that you dig in but also while you’re cooking it. Stirring the rice as it absorbs the liquid is therapeutic while listening to the bubbling sound of the stock and inhaling the fragrant aroma from the pan. Although risotto may take time to cook it is indeed an easy dish to prepare.



Forbidden Rice Risotto
with Roasted Pumpkin and Chinese Broccoli

Makes 4 servings:

Roasted Pumpkin:
½ lb pumpkin
extra light olive oil
½ tsp brown sugar
¼ tsp unrefined sea salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp chili powder

Risotto:
1 cup forbidden rice (soaked for 12-24 hours with 1 tbsp yogurt, whey or kefir)
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (approximately)
3 ½ oz Chinese broccoli (about 100 grams)
1 small onion
2 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ tsp dried pepper flakes
½ cup white wine
unrefined sea salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

To serve:
3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 400º degrees Fahrenheit (or 200º degrees Celsius).

To prepare the roasted pumpkin, combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon and chili powder in a small bowl. Scoop out the seeds from the halved pumpkin and cut them into 1-inch wedge. Save the pumpkin seeds if desired. Brush the pumpkin with olive in on both sides and sprinkle with the spice mixture. Arrange the pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the oven and roast for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is golden brown and tender.

While the pumpkin is roasting, cook the risotto.

First, drain and rinse the forbidden rice through a strainer. Then, drain very well, shaking off excess water.

To cook the risotto, first bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Prepare the Chinese broccoli by removing the leaves from its stem. Then, cut the stem into smaller pieces. Next mince the onions.

Heat a heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium-low heat, add butter until melted, then add the minced onions followed by the salt and sweat until soft and translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add the chili pepper flakes and black rice to the pan and sauté for 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until the edges of the rice turns translucent. Add the white wine and stir until the wine is completely absorbed. Add the chicken stock one ladle at a time, allowing each ladle to be absorbed completely before adding the next.

Then cut the slightly cooled roasted pumpkin into bite-sized pieces while keeping an eye of the risotto. Remove the skin if desired before cutting.

When the risotto is about three-fourths cooked, about 30 minutes, add the Chinese broccoli and cook until the vegetables are tender. Season the dish with salt and pepper, to taste. To finish, add the diced pumpkin and stir slowly to incorporate. Remove the risotto from the heat and let sit covered for 2 minutes.

To finish the dish, grate the Parmesan cheese and fold three fourths into the risotto. Serve into individual bowls and garnish with the rest of the grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Notes:

Gluten-Free; Vegan (if vegetable stock is used and cheese is omitted)

Cooking time for the rice will depend on the type of forbidden rice that you have. They cook for a longer period of time but still worth the wait.

After 30-40 minutes of cooking forbidden rice, the rice will be tender and creamy (I promise) but still slightly al dente.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday hosted by Cheeseslave and Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Print Recipe

52 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe with all health benefits well explained. We used to eat a lot of this black rice when we were young. The fragrance that came from cooking it was soooo beautiful. I remember we were able to
    eat huge plates of it with some home grown vegetables from our garden...just plain stir fried. The texture is also so beautiful. My mom said that this black rice is very nutritious, higher in fibre and very good for health. I wish they are available here.

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  2. Oh no, there goes my rice diet... :P Looks delicious!

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  3. Your posts are always very informaive. I am afraid that I have not heard of forbidden rice nor have I eaten it before.

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  4. Very informative and interesting with the forbidden black rice. I should eat more of black food.

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  5. Interesting combination! I wonder if wild rice will work?

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  6. Very well done post Divina. I like the way you've played around with the words in the intro.
    I've never heard of forbidden rice before. We do have brown rice here, which is higher in nutrition than the regular white rice. Informative!

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  7. Such a colourful dish! Neither have I eaten nor heard of the dish but it seems healthy.

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  8. I like your way of combining the Chinese broccoli with risotto, pumpkin and black rice. All sorts of different colours and goodies are blended so well in this dish.

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  9. This dish looks beautiful and sounds delicious! I love the way you describe cooking risotto as therapeutic as well. I always enjoy reading your posts :)

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  10. what a colorful and very tasty dish, it reminds me of thanksgiving :) like you said risotto is very easy but worth the time to make!

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  11. This risotto looks and sounds incredible! I love your pairing of forbidden rice with pumpkin!

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  12. I have some forbidden rice in my pantry. Have never considered making risotto with it! Great idea, and delicious-sounding dish!

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  13. @ Mary - If you do have some recipes from Malaysia, I would love to try them.

    @ Wil - these are healthier. :)

    @ Elle - Thank you. Now you've heard it from me. :)

    @ Angie - Thank you. Same here.

    @ Penny - You can cook the wild rice in chicken stock and just toss the cooked pumpkin and broccoli. I don't think they have enough starch to make it creamy. But you can give it a try for me. :)

    @ Shirley - thank you. Short-grain brown rice would work well too.

    @ Blackswan - thanks a lot.

    @ Christine - thank you. I was thinking of sweet and bitter and the ingredients came up.

    @ Cocina Savant - thank you very much. :)

    @ Jessie - thanks. I love the stirring part. :)

    @ 5 Star Foodie - thank you. They are a great pair.

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  14. Devine risotto here with pumpkin and the rice looks like a must try variety.

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  15. That looks beautiful - and you know I'm a big fan of colorful food! So does the black rice have that sort of nutty flavor that brown rice has? With the pumpkin and the Chinese broccoli the flavors working together must be incredible!

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  16. @ Cajun Chef Ryan - thank you. :0

    @ Tastry Trix - Thank you. Yes. The black rice has a nutty flavor and even nuttier than brown rice.

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  17. a very useful post,divine,like always!a wonderful week!

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  18. Hola Divina, this is such a delightful and refreshing recipe. Can't easily find black rice over here. Can only get brown rice instead! I love brown rice. Like the chewy texture and the aroma.

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  19. Iyong Günlüğü ay Maganda.Very kapaki-melodiler tarifi deki pakinabang Ang.
    Awtomatikong de Manggagalugad 8 na.o maghanap dito pagsasalin ay tapos:
    http://translate.google.com/ #

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  20. My mom would make me black rice all the time because i had gray hair -- it was that and black sesame seeds hahaha. Her method of cooking the black rice was nowhere as wonderful as the way you've chosen -- it is such a creative twist to put on this ingredient with the roasted pumpkin and chinese broccoli!! Very very creative I love it Divina :) btw, I love the Rouxbe videos too they are so well done and helpful

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  21. awesome risotto i need to look for this rice great color thanks for your sweet comments love Rebecca

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  22. YUM! I just had some forbidden rice at a restaurant and LOVED it. The texture and taste is fantastic. This is a beautiful recipe, I cannot wait to try it!

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  23. This is lovely - I think those flavour and colour combinations are just about perfect. A nice twist on risotto!

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  24. So creative and beautiful. Also a great way to get the kids to eat something healthy -- call it "forbidden" and I guaranty they'll dig in. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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  25. This is a totally new dish for me. Never heard this 'forbidden' rice before. It looks so interesting. As I love foods with bright colors, this would be my first choice if I had a chance of finding it here. Also, I've never roasted pumpkin before. We generally make its dessert here. And I don't know the Chinese broccoli, but I understand from your description of its flavor that I'm sure I would love it. Gorgeous pictures as usual.

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  26. What a great combination of ingredients and flavors,looks delish!

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  27. another great recipe...thank you...I just love how you relate food to the recipe and why we need to eat certain ingredients...

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  28. I absolutely love forbidden rice. It is so flavorful in itself that you don't need to do much to dress it up! Love the combo you chose too!

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  29. That looks absolutely delicious! I love risotto.

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  30. It is so true, forbidden rice does sound sexy, sensational and intriguing! Your photos are beautiful.

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  31. What a beautiful risotto! I love the colors and flavors that you use in this dish, as well as the history of the name.

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  32. thanks for posting this great idea as i just bought some organic brown rice...I will still look forward to some fried rice recipes for the brown rice since my family doesn't seem to appreciate risotto as much as I do ;)

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  33. I love rice and I've been wanting to try as many as possible. I actually have a bag of black rice waiting to be cooked up! I love the addition of roasted pumpkin although I'd like to try other squashes, too. This looks like such a healthy, hearty, delicious dish!

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  34. Hi Divina, my language Turkish.I know a little English.Your comments to me were happy.Thanks..

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  35. Divina, This risotto looks so amazing! I've never seen forbidden rice before, so will definitely be on the look out for it. I'm also quite interested in that Chinese broccoli, sounds amazing!

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  36. What a gorgeous dish! I will have to keep my eye out for that rice.

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  37. Divina, this looks beautiful! I have never had Chinese broccoli. I have also been wanting to try roasting pumpkin! Looks great

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  38. Such a beautiful dish. The colors are gorgeous.

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  39. Hi Divina - this dish looks so good. I could not but help stare at it and think what a genuis combination - and still so healthy! I wish I could have a taste. You should definitely win Health Blogger Award - I've voted for you already! :)

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  40. I'm going to have to agree, the black rice looks super sexy! I have never had it before. I may need to get some after Thanksgiving. The recipe sounds lovely! I love risotto, and yours looks so different.

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  41. Wow!That looks fantastic!I have to buy black rice :)

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  42. I'd never come across forbidden rice before, but if it's even nuttier than brown rice then it's something I'll certainly be looking out for now. Your roasted pumpkin risotto sounds fabulous.

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  43. Hi Divina, I've an award for you. Please feel free to drop by and collect the batch. Thank you. Cheers.

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  44. Very nice and interesting story on the black rice.Congrats on being Top 9 with this dish.

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  45. Great combination of flavors! And I love a good risotto. This looks beautiful!

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  46. This risotto looks so scrumptious! I love your choice of flavors!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  47. Amazing color and combination of ingredients! And the name is so... tempting! You feel like you are indulging in something truly rare and special with the name "forbidden" in it!

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  48. Now isn't this simply delectable! I love everything in this dish!

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  49. Oh wow, this sounds really delicious! Thanks for this link on my blog. I just need to go get some black rice. :)

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  50. Oh this looks really yummy! I think this forbidden rice recipe will definitely make my kids love black rice! I love black rice and with all of its benefits, I truly loved it more. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. now, I am hungry.

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  51. that's beautiful! i love black rice but have only had them in sweet soups with red beans. this is a great idea!

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