Pumpkin is a versatile, delicious fruit that does not get enough attention in the kitchen. This sweet-yet-savory squash can be used in a wide variety of meals – much more than just pie. This autumn, try using pumpkin in more meals, bringing its iconic fall flavor into your culinary repertoire.
Start by making this flavorful pumpkin risotto dish at your next gathering. Courtesy of The New York Times, this simple recipe takes only a few steps and can be completed in just about an hour. It yields 2 – 3 servings so increase the ingredients if you want to make a larger portion.
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound onion
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups of vegetable stock or broth
1 large garlic clove
5 – 6 tablespoons of grated Parmesan
Salt, black pepper and nutmeg to taste
While the basic idea of the recipe should remain the same, you can change or tweak some of the ingredients to find the perfect consistency and flavor that appeal to you. You may want to reduce the amount of onion to ease its potency, or consider using different types of onion.
If you don’t want canned pumpkin, you can use real pumpkin or, as Wolfgang Puck suggests, butternut squash. If you do use these fresh ingredients, bake or sauté squares of it with butter until tender before making your risotto.
You can also use chicken stock or broth instead of vegetable-based stock. Purchasing low-sodium or no-salt-added stocks is also a smart, healthy choice.
Most people use a Riesling or a Chardonnay for their white wine, but you can experiment to find one you like most.
Cooking pumpkin risotto differs little from making other types of risotto, taking place primarily on your stovetop.
Pour the stock into a pan and heat it to a simmer. In the meantime, prepare your ingredients by finely chopping the onion and mincing the garlic.
On another burner, warm a large, non-stick pot until it’s hot. Reduce the heat to medium-hot, add the olive oil, and sauté the onion and garlic. Once the onion begins to look slightly yellow, stir in the rice and coat it with the oily mixture. Add the white wine to the pot and let the concoction sizzle until the wine finishes evaporating.
Now, gently pour one cup of the warmed stock into the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer, along with a pinch of nutmeg. Stir the pot frequently as the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue this step by adding another cup of stock, repeating this step again until the rice is tender but not falling apart or overly sticky (al dente). If you have any stock left by this point, leave it aside. If you need more, warm it and add it.
Reduce the heat even more so the pot is no longer simmering but merely remaining warm. Carefully taste the rice (it’s probably hot) and mix in the pumpkin, cheese, salt and pepper until the flavor is optimal. Once everything has combined, serve the pumpkin risotto immediately.
If you don’t have the time to make pumpkin risotto on the stove, look for other recipes online that offer guidance for making this dish in a slow-cooker instead. It is definitely a recipe worth trying this autumn.
This article is presented by Perkins Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado.