Saturday, January 5, 2008

Pumpkin Risotto (thanks to Tucson CSA for inspiration)

I know it's late for pumpkin recipes, but I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a big hit. I thought I'd record it for posterity. You can substitute other types of squash if you want.

The First Thing You Got To Do

Cut a hole in the top and pull out all the seeds. You can do this however you want. Get a bunch of kids together and rip out the guts, if that's fun for you. Once you've done that you can save the seeds and toast them, but again, that's your business. Cut the pumpkin into halves or quarters and stick it in the oven for, like, 30 minutes at 375 degrees, flipping once or twice. Don't take it out until it's mushy.

Once it's done, take it out and scoop out the soft stuff with a fork, spoon, or ice cream scoop. Set aside about two cups worth. Save the rest for a pie, maybe.

The Next Thing

Next up, you've got to get your mise en place set up. Get out some butter, rice, dried sage, onion, white wine, grated Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Mince up the onions nice and fine. Make sure to get all your ingredients together before you start cooking, 'cause that's real important.

Start Cooking

Heat up about 4 cups of broth to a boil. Keep it at a slow boil until ready.

Get out a decent sized stock pot and turn the heat up to medium. Heat a couple of tablespoons of butter or oil. Throw in the onions and watch them carefully, sauteeing them until they turn yellow and fragrant, it should take a couple of minutes. Add the pumpkin and about a cup of rice. If you want more risotto you'll need to adjust your broth and pumpkin proportions accordingly. Stir everything together, then add 2 teaspoons of sage and a good size splash of white wine. Use your discretion on this one.

Here comes the fun part. Start adding broth, about two cups at a time. Watch the mix carefully as the rice absorbs the liquid. You may need to dilute your broth with water if it's a salty mixture, or if you're planning on making a lot of risotto. Stir the mixture as you go, adding more and more broth as it gets absorbed. All told you'll be adding anywhere from 6-10 cups of water/broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook till al dente. Add cheese once finished (if desired).

This recipe should be vegan friendly, so long as you use vegetable broth, oil, and omit the cheese. I used vegetable broth last year and it worked great.

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