Monday, October 30, 2006

Pumpkin Mushroom Risotto

Copyright 2006 by Cooking With The Single Guy

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized sugar pumpkin
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups fresh mushrooms (i.e. shiitake, chantrelle, crimini)
1 small glass of dry white wine
1 (14 oz.) can of chicken broth
1 T fresh sage, minced
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (or parmigiano reggiano)
2 T unsalted butter
olive oil
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cut open your pumpkin, remove the seeds and threads, and slice into wedges. Place them in a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil or a baking dish. Drizzle olive oil to coat the pumpkin and season with sea salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for 35-40 minutes until the pumpkin meat is fork tender. Let it cool and cut it into cubes without the skin. (If it’s really tender, you should be able to use a spoon and scoop chunks of the pumpkin meat off its skin.)

In a saucepan, warm 2 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat and add onion. Cook for about two minutes until translucent, making sure not to brown the onions. Add rice and stir with onions, letting the heat toast the rice for about a minute. Turn heat to medium and add wine and cook until most of it evaporates. Add sage and broth, about 1/2 cup at a time. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes, adding 1/2 cup of broth along the way, until rice is al dente, or almost done. When your risotto is almost done, toss in your tender pumpkin chunks and mix well.

Remove saucepan from the fire and stir in butter and cheese. Add salt to your taste.

In saute pan, quickly cook your mushrooms in olive oil and high heat to sweat out the moisture. (Sprinkle with salt to help extract the moisture.) Top the mushrooms on a plate of pumpkin risotto. Garnish with more parmesan and crispy sage leaves.

Makes two servings. Serve with roasted asparagus or mixed green salad.

Pair with a California chardonnay.

TIPS: Roasting the pumpkin can be tricky because the size of your wedges can affect how long it takes. Cut the wedges uniformed so the pumpkin will cook at the same time. Test the tenderness by sticking in a fork and if it goes in easily like cooked yams, they’re done! Be sure not to cook it too long because it’ll turn into shreds.

CRISPY SAGE: I learned this touch from the Naked Chef Jamie Oliver. He would quickly pan fry leaves of fresh sage in extra virgin olive oil, creating these crispy sage that you can top your risotto with. Makes for a nice presentation.

2 comments:

Howie said...

Thanks Ben! I cooked the risotto for my family tonight (with butternut squash since Trader Joe's wasn't selling pumpkin after Halloween). It came out great. Keep the recipes coming!

Chef Ben said...

That's great Howie! Butternut squash or any other of the recent winter squashes popping up in stores will be a fine substitute. But Thanksgiving is coming up so I'm sure many stores will be stocking sugar pumpkins for die-hards who like to make fresh pumpkin pies. I think the sugar pumpkins are perfect size for this risotto recipe because they're just so darn cute! :)