Manchego Pitimi Risotto with Mushrooms & Cherry tomatoes

Tested and proved to be delicious, I am certain that you will enjoy this recipe.

As a child I never liked Pitimi, and as a grown up either. I must say that making a Pitimi recipe was on my to do list for the blog, and deep inside I am hoping that you like Pitimi, or that at least, just like me, this recipe will help you change your mind about it, and you will enjoy every bite. It is filling though, so I recommend this preparation as a meal, with no need for meat or sides. But that’s entirely up to you.

Pitimi, also known as Sorghum, is a whole grain, and is considered to be the “fifth-most important cereal crop grown in the world” according to FAO. The texture of Pitimi, resembles that of couscous, bulgur, or pearled barley.

You must wonder why my desire to cook a meal I don’t particularly like ? Well let’s just say that there are many many valid reasons to eat Pitimi:

  1. Pitimi is a highly popular ingredient in Haitian cuisine, and you know I try to use the local popular ingredients in my Haitian Fusion recipes.
  2. It has many many great values and health benefits and is gluten free, a great add-on for people who cannot eat gluten based food.
  3. It is a great alternative to rice, corn meal, couscous, bulgar or barley if you feel like cooking something different.
  4. Pitimi is locally grown.
  5. As Pitimi is locally grown, it turns out, it is an ingredient I hold at heart for having visited the plantations last summer. One of my clients, Brana Haiti has a mega project, planting hectares and hectares of Pitimi in Haiti, in order to use locally cultivated Sorghum in their production of their delicious malt beverage, Malta H. When I visited those plantations in the far off plains of Thomazeau, I had to speak to the farmers to give them a crash course if you’d like of the production process involved in producing the Malt beverage, and explain to them how their hard labor, was now the fruit of a delicious, healthy, full of vitamins beverage that was available on store shelves throughout the country. The pride in their eyes and pure content in their smiles was priceless. You must understand that Malta H has been consumed by the vast majority of Haitians for the longest time, but never ever before, were the crops used to produce it, locally produced, and Brana has revolutionized the agricultural sector here by integrating this locally grown cereal in their recipe, representing over 200 metric tons of sorghum!!!
  6. The success of this Pitimi project, represents a lasting legacy for Haitian farmers and local agriculture, so the more people consume Pitimi, the more we are encouraging a great sustainable project.

That sure sounds like enough reasons to me for you to put Pitimi on your must cook list as well :)

Traditional risotto calls for rice, but considering that Pitimi is also short grained like arborio rice used in risotto, I opted for a Pitimi Risotto. If you have ever eaten a risotto, you will know that the success of a great risotto lies in the perfect balance of the al dente texture of the rice (easily achievable with the texture of the Pitimi), and the stickiness and creaminess of the plate (also easy to get with Pitimi). Every bite of my Manchego Pitimi Risotto with Mushrooms and Cherry Tomatoes will turn out to be delicious in your mouth. I certainly hope you enjoy making it and get to enjoy this warm, cozy meal with friends and family.

Bon appétit!

Ingredients for cooking the Pitimi
2 cups Ptimi cleaned and rinsed thoroughly (at least 3 times)
3 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp pressed garlic paste
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped scallions
1/4 cup diced white or yellow onion
Salt & pepper

Pitimi Risotto ingredients for 4
4 cups cooked Pitimi
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic paste pressed
2 large mushrooms sliced
12 cherry tomatoes
1 tsp butter
1/2 tasse whipping cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence
2 cups shredded manchego
1 fresh lemon thyme sprig
1 tsp Moutardes a l'ancienne
1 sweet mini yellow pepper
1/2 scallion cut in juliennes
Fresh Basil leaves
Salt & pepper

In a large pot, heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add in your garlic, chopped onions and scallions, and cook them together with salt and pepper for about 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Add in your chopped parsley and stir.

Now add your water and bring to boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once boiled, stir in your Pitimi and cook over medium heat until your water has almost evaporated, just like you would cook rice.  Once all your water has evaporated, cover, lower your heat and let cook for at least 45 minutes, gently stirring occasionally. You Pitimi will be ready and feel a little al dente, as it is the normal texture of the grain. Set it aside for a bit.

Now in a large saucepan, heat your tablespoon olive oil. Add in your garlic paste. Mix it, and add in your sliced mushrooms, cooking them lighlty with a little salt and pepper. Remove them from the heat and set them aside. Now time for lightly cooking your cherry tomatoes cut in two. Set them aside as well wrapped in a little foil so they remain warm while you prepare the Pitimi Risotto.

In the same saucepan, add your butter and let it melt. Add in your whipping cream, chicken broth, fresh lemon thyme leaves, herbes de provence, and one tablespoon of whole grain French mustard (Moutarde à l’ancienne) and mix well. Stir in your 4 cups of cooked Pitimi, and stir while adding your shredded Manchego cheese, until you reach a nice and creamy risotto like texture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Your Pitimi is now ready for plating. Using a cup measurer, plate nicely in the center of your dish your Pitimi. Add some cracked sea salt and fresh pepper to taste. Top with your warm mushrooms and tomatoes, juliennes of raw scallions for color and thin slices of raw sweet mini yellow peppers for crunch and taste. Top with your fresh basil leaves and a little Manchego. Enjoy!


About Sylvie

2 comments on “Manchego Pitimi Risotto with Mushrooms & Cherry tomatoes

  1. Sylvie, I am so proud of you bringing sophistication to what is considered vulgar popular local ingredients. I love your contribution to bringing Haitian cuisine to a higher level! Pitimi risotto is so creative! And it should be delicious! Bravo Sylvie! Bravo Haitibites!

    • Thank you Mom! Super happy to read you on my blog and humbled by all your positive feedback. After all, you are the one who taught me how to cook. So thank you for the touch of sophistication and creativity in my cooking!

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