Monday, November 12, 2012

pumpkin rosemary risotto

Here's one of my favorite fall recipes!  We've finally got chilly weather here in LA and this made for the perfect Sunday dinner.  Even Carson (the pickiest eater in CA) enjoyed it.

This can be made in a slow cooker (that's the route I took this time) or in a pan like a traditional risotto.  I think you either love the slow cooker or you don't.  I used to be in the don't love it at all camp, but I changed my mind after becoming a parent.  I wish I had time to dote on my risotto but I don't.  So, the slow cooker is a life saver.  If you are one of the lucky ones who can steal away an hour and a half or so to dedicate to this risotto, it's well worth the effort!  But, it's pretty delicious in the slow cooker too...


Pumpkin puree:

1 box/can pumpkin puree (homemade would be great too - 1.5 cups)
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. rosemary (I used a fresh sprig from my garden but I'm sure dried would work)

Pumpkin/squash cubes:

1/2 butternut squash or eating pumpkin (I used a butternut this time)
2 t. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t.  rosemary
pinch of white pepper


3 1/2 C. vegetable stock
2 T. butter
1/2 C. diced onion
1 1/2 C. brown rice (or arborio)
1/2 C. sherry (or any white cooking wine)

1/2 C. freshly grated parmesan cheese (I threw in some extra - maybe 3/4 C. - I like it cheesy)
1/4 C. half and half

salt and pepper to taste

First, prepare your pumpkin puree and squash cubes (I cooked a whole butternut and saved half to make my butternut squash mac n' cheese later this week).

Peel your squash of choice and cube (you can also buy cubed butternut squash all ready to go at Trader Joe's).  Toss with ingredients listed above and and roast at 400 for 25-35 mins. until slightly browned.  OR refrigerate uncooked squash and cook during the last 30 mins. of risotto prep.  (I cooked it first since bedtime get's a little crazy and just gave it an extra five minutes in the slow cooker to heat it up).

Mix your pureed pumpkin with ingredients listed above and set aside (refrigerate if using slow cooker method).

Now for the risotto.  Melt butter in a pan and add onion.  Sautee until lightly browned.  Add rice and sautee for 2 additional minutes.  If you'd prefer to take the easy way out (like I did), here's the slow cooker method:
dump your rice/onion mix, sherry and chicken stock in the slow cooker and cook for 3.5 hours on low or 2 hours on high (may vary with different slow cookers).  After 3.5 hrs. on low or 2 on high add the pumpkin puree and give it another 30 minutes.  (Now's the time to bake that cubed squash if you haven't yet.)  For the final touch, gently stir in the half and half and parmesan, then add the cubed squash.  Garnish with additional rosemary and parmesan.

If you've got the time to do this the traditional way:
add sherry and stir until absorbed, add chicken stock 1 cup at a time while stirring slowly and constantly at a gentle simmer until fully absorbed.  When it's time to add your last 1/2 cup of stock, add the pumpkin puree. (Bake the cubed squash if you haven't done so yet!)  Once it's absorbed add the half and half and parmesan. Lightly stir in the cubed squash and garnish with additional rosemary and parmesan.

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