Last Thursday night, before Jack was preparing to return to the University…
Chip and I recently experimented with a basic pumpkin risotto recipe amped up a notch, as usual, to add some extra goodies. We tried this as a dry run for an upcoming visit with friends. This is sweet and savory and just perfect on a fall night with friends. We loved the outcome and hope you will too.
What you need:
Note: This recipe allows for 4-6 servings. We cut it in half for just the two of us.
- 5 to 6 cups broth. You can use vegetable broth or clam broth/juice.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- A little less than a ‘pour’ of olive oil
- 2/3 cup white onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 2 cups fresh pumpkin, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- Lobster meat, maybe the yield from two small lobsters. You can use shrimp as well.
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Grated Parmesan to top it off
SIDEBAR: make the candied pecans as you are stirring the risotto.
In a small saucepan, melt 3-4 tablespoons of butter along with about ¼ cup of brown sugar. When melted, add some a drip of vanilla. I love Vanilla Plus from King Arthur. Now add the pecans and stir frequently until they are coated. Keep the heat on low or so then pour on to a flat plate to cool further until ready to use.
What to do:
NOTE: Using a Dutch Oven such as Staub or Le Creuset makes a significant impact on the creaminess of the final product. We feel it is worth the investment and have had ours for years.
In a large saucepan, heat the butter, olive oil and chopped sage over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Add the arborio rice. Stir for about a minute, making sure all rice is coated in butter. Now, add the fresh pumpkin, and nutmeg. Toss a bit. Add 1 cup of the broth, stirring well; reduce heat to low.
Once the broth is incorporated, add 1/2 cup more broth, stirring constantly. Continue to add broth in 1/2 cup increments as the rice absorbs liquid, and continues to cook. The pumpkin pieces will be tender now as it also cooks along with the rice.
Rice will take about 25 minutes to cook and should be creamy but al dente when done. This is a slow and chatty process so pour a glass of wine and relax. It is so worth it.
In last few minutes of cooking, stir in the canned pumpkin, and once incorporated, add the lobster.
Remove risotto from heat and serve in bowls, creating a ‘pile’ of risotto. It keeps it warm as you eat from the edges inward.
Top with the candied pecans, and drizzle on some beautiful and sweet maple syrup. Place some Parmesan, salt, and pepper for some additional flavor.
Fall is here and it is my favorite time of year. Enjoy this recipe with a lovely Sancerre or wine of choice.