All about fall: pumpkin risotto

The Sept./Oct. edition of AAA Journey features Pearl's pumpkin risotto.

Autumn, already?! Just by the chill that greets us in recent mornings and the blush on those maple trees outside, fall’s presence is imminent. For food lovers in the Northwest, this change in seasons also promises culinary bliss. Squash and sugar pie pumpkins steal the produce spotlight; the forage follows on treasured backwoods not far at all from Pearl for highly coveted edible mushrooms, and huckleberries will make their way to the plate at nearly the same time. It’s all on the way.

Our friends at AAA Journey magazine included Pearl in its fall feature (Sept/Oct. 2010 “Fall into Fall”) edition and treated readers to Chef Bradley’s pumpkin risotto recipe. You should have it, too! In less than a half hour, you’ll be savoring the depth of flavor–with cubes of fresh roasted pumpkin—and the nutty, creamy overtones of this seasonal comfort. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Risotto

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. cup olive oil

1 medium size Sugar Pie pumpkin (Substitute Butternut squash if needed)

¼ cup olive oil

1 small onion (Diced)

3 ribs celery (Diced)

3 cloves garlic (Minced)

2 cups Arborio rice

6+ cups vegetable stock – heated

1 ½ Tbsp. Kosher salt

¼ cup butter

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Directions:

Peel and seed the pumpkin. Cut into ¾” size cubes. Rub with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and season lightly with kosher salt. Spread out on sheet pan and roast in pre-heated 350° oven for 20-25 minutes or until soft (but not mushy) throughout.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large non-reactive stockpot. Add onions, celery and garlic and cook until slightly translucent. Add rice, stir well and allow rice to “toast” slightly. Begin adding stock, ½ cup at a time and continue stirring and cooking until stock is absorbed. Continue adding stock ½ cup at a time until it is all absorbed into rice. Season with salt as needed throughout the cooking process. (Rice should be “creamy” but not too soft when finished) Stir in the roasted pumpkin cubes and reduce heat to low. Fold in butter and remove to serving dishes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Chef’s notes:

-Use high quality rice, parmesan and stock for optimum results
-When adding pumpkin; stir into rice and allow pumpkin to “break down” slightly to add color and flavor to the entire dish
-Amount of stock may vary depending on brand of rice
-Allow plenty of time when cooking risotto – it will be worth it! (This recipe should take about 20-25 minutes)

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