Call them what you will – Jack-O-Lanterns, Cinderella’s mode of transportation, Charlie Browns #1 film. Pumpkins, the large orange veggie that we oftentimes forget is more than just a fall decoration, are in season and waiting to be eaten.
The craving for a home cooked meal came over me and I transitioned into domestic goddess mode and hit the kitchen. I decided on pumpkin risotto because after the butternut squash soup, I was curious to create something with squash’s famous brother, the pumpkin. I had also never cooked risotto before, so it was a worthy challenge.
In addition to the meal, I ended up with some tasty baked and salted pumpkin seeds – my favorite!
This is a sustainable meal because of it’s a.) Vegetarian-ness b.) Local produce
Instead of veggie stock, I used coconut curry broth, thinking it would give the meal a little sweet and spicy flavor. This was not a good idea because the coconut curry flavor really took over the meal and drowned out the pumpkin flavor. But besides that, everything else came out pretty good. I combined a few recipes I found online but here is how this creation was concocted.
1 Baking pumpkin (mine was about 2 lbs)
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
3 cups veggie stock
8 Baby Bella mushrooms
3 Cloves Garlic
1 Vidalia onion
- Slice pumpkin in half, take out all pumpkin goo and seeds, and bake on 350 degrees for 20 minutes. This will make the pumpkin easier to cut through (I like having all 5 fingers.)
- While the pumpkin is baking, combine enough olive oil and butter to cover the bottom of a large frying pan. Dice onions, chop garlic and slice mushrooms. On medium heat, cook onions and garlic until translucent.
- Cut pumpkin into media chunks; add pumpkin and mushrooms to the fry pan and cook for 5 minutes.
- In a large pot, heat 1 cup veggie broth to a gentle simmer. Add rice. Once it absorbs all the broth, add another cup and onion/pumpkin/mushroom mixture.
- Once broth is absorbed again, add the last cup. Rice should cook 20 minutes total.
- Add enough Parmesan cheese to make the rice sticky. (I used about ½ cup of parm flakes). Flavor with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Enjoy! I served with a heart of palm and kalamata olive dinner salad with homemade white wine vinaigrette dressing. I’ll feature that recipe next week.
Cooking Pumpkin Seeds
To make the pumpkin seeds, just separate the seed from the pumpkin goop, spread out on a greased cookie sheet, salt plentifully, and bake on 350 for 25 minutes, flipping half with through.