I went home this weekend for my grandfather’s 80th birthday party. It was a surprise party, although how much of a surprise it actually ended up being I’m not entirely sure. Either way, he seemed to enjoy himself, and it was nice for me to see extended family too. Or rather, it was nice to see my first cousins and aunts and uncles; third cousins twice removed or great great aunts not so much, simply because I never know who they are yet they always seem to know who I am, which makes for slightly awkward greetings.
Another bonus was that there was plenty of wonderful food. We had caterers do most of the work but any additional things were provided by family members.
Needless to say, I ate far too many delicious but not-so-healthy treats. Which is not a problem – everyone is allowed treats. But I returned to Oxford on Sunday feeling like I’d eaten enough cake to last me a while. Which is where this risotto comes. It’s filling and hearty so keeps me nicely satisfied, but is full of goodness too.
I suppose it’s technically not a risotto because it’s made of quinoa rather than rice (personal preference). I played around with calling it “quinotto” or something like that, but I think my buckwheat vesna has filled the quota of madeup dishes for a while. It could also just be a curry, I suppose. You can decide.
I topped mine with roasted cauliflower. You could just add the cauliflower in with the other veg, or omit it altogether, but roasted cauliflower is so delicious that I really recommend you do it this way. Feel free to switch up the veg, too, to suit your tastes or what you have to hand. I reckon peppers or baby corn would be quite nice.
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
- 400ml coconut milk
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 300g mushrooms, chopped
- 1 pack sugar snaps
- 1-2 tbsps Thai red curry paste
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spread the cauliflower florets out evenly on top. Drizzle over the olive oil and salt, then roast in the oven for around 30 minutes (but check back every so often to make sure they aren’t burning too quickly; exact time will depend on the oven).
- In a large saucepan, heat the coconut milk and the sweet potato. Cover the pan and simmer gently for around 15-20 minutes, until the sweet potato is cooked and very soft.
- With a potato masher, roughly mash the sweet potato into the coconut milk. You want the two to combine to create a kind of sauce, but don’t worry too much about getting it really smooth, I like having chunks of sweet potato remaining. Stir in the curry paste.
- Add the water, quinoa, mushrooms and sugar snaps to the pan, recover, and simmer gently for another 15 minutes or so, until the quinoa is cooked, adding a bit more water if it starts to dry up too much. What you want is cooked quinoa and not too much excess liquid.
- Serve into bowls and top with roasted cauliflower florets. Enjoy!