Sunday, 4 November 2012

Pumpkin Risotto with Thyme for babies and toddlers

I posted a risotto recipe a while back.  It was made in the slow cooker to make it easy with a little one around but, well it wasn't quite as good as a proper risotto, not that this is a 'proper' risotto, not really.  I've used some cheats and used up items in my fridge which needed using.

Risotto made with parmesan is not vegetarian so if you do want to make this veggie, you will need to switch the cheese.  A good tip is Berkswell which is a British cheese made from vegetarian rennet but it is a hard parmesan style.  Alternatively use a vintage cheddar, a properly strong 'crunchy' one.  Obviously all of these changes are completely inauthentic but then as ever I make no claims for authenticity!

So this was made after my son spent the morning at a birthday party eating breaded bits and bobs and sugary snacks.  You have to admit it's quite a good thing to have a risotto freshly made for you to include some vegetables into your diet!  He's a lucky boy!

Risotto - serves 1 adult or 2 toddlers / children


Stock - apologies, when I'm making risotto, I tend not to measure how much I have but that's often the way and you could always add some boiling water if you run out.  Obviously home made stock is best, you get an unctuousness from the gelatine apart from just the flavour but I have to admit today I didn't have any chicken bones so I made my stock from a stock cube and some vegetables with boiling water, straining out the veg.  Look, I know, I know.  For very young kids, use low salt stock.  Obviously use vegetable stock if you are following a vegetarian diet.
10g (1/3 oz) butter
1/2 a small onion, very finely diced
75g, 2.5 oz pumpkin, cut into a fine dice
1 clove of garlic, finely diced
60g of risotto rice, e.g. arborio,
A further 10g, 1/3 oz butter
20g, 2/3oz grated parmesan or well flavoured hard cheese of your choice (see above comments)
A couple of sprigs of thyme


Put your stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil, put on a simmer while you prepare the rest.

Melt 10g butter in a frying pan and gently fry the onion and pumpkin in the butter for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft but not coloured.  Add in the garlic and then the rice.  Stir around for a couple of minutes then add in a ladleful of stock.  Allow to bubble, stirring fairly often until almost all of the stock is gone.  Continue doing this for around 15 minutes or until the rice and pumpkin is cooked.  Slow down the stock addition towards the end to avoid it being too wet.  Once the rice is cooked to your liking, take off the heat while you prepare the butter, grated cheese and thyme.

Add in the dairy and thyme and beat it all together.  Allow to cool to a suitable temperature for your child before serving.  Delicious.

Of course my reasoning for cooking a risotto in a slow cooker when my son was younger was he was always on my hip.  Where was my 2 year old while I was cooking this?  On my hip and considerably heavier than he was 12 months ago.  That worked then!  Ah well, at least now he's more cooperative because he's interested in what I'm doing!


Omit the pumpkin and take a handful of frozen broad beans.  Run some boiling water over them in the sieve and while the risotto is cooking, press each between your thumb and forefinger to pop out the little green beans inside.  Throw away the skins.

2-3 minutes before the risotto is cooked, add in the beans.  Once the risotto is cooked, continue as above by adding in the cheese, butter and thyme.

My son pronounced this to be "delicious"!


  1. Yummy !!
    What a great dish. I'm sure I'm gonna loooooooove it

    1. Oh yeah, don't be scared by risotto, they're really easy to make it's just you have to accept there's 15 mins of your life you will be stood, stirring!

  2. Looks great - my daughter like risotto but not my son, so it tends to be a grown up dish here, but I keep trying!

    1. No way... what's not to like? Cheesy... veggie... yummy!

  3. i tried this with organic japanese kabocha pumpkin and cheddar cheese, because my daughter hates parmesan... it was a hit! thanks for the recipes!!

    1. Wow I've never even heard of a kabocha pumpkin! I sometimes make it with cheddar when I don't have parmesan in. The most mature 'vintage' cheddars are matured for as long as Parmesan!

  4. This looks amazing and delicious~ Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

  5. Hellooo...I found you through Carole's Chatter: Food on Friday. Your Pumpkin Risotto looks so creamy and good and sounds absolutely wonderful. I will try it very soon. I'm always on the look-out for a savory pumpkin dish.
    Karen @


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