Fall Cookbook Series, Week 3: Pumpkin and Red Pepper Risotto

When I first started this series, I was 35 weeks pregnant and full of optimism. I thought I would for sure be able to cook a fancy meal once a week and write a blog post on it. Hmm, nope. I was wrong. I hope you’ll forgive me.

It’s now November and time to start thinking about what to bring to the Thanksgiving dinner table. Here’s an idea for a unique vegetarian side dish that you can prepare either on the day of or a couple of days beforehand (be sure to check out my thoughts below). Here’s the recipe:20151031_200011

  • 5 cups mushroom broth (I used Pacific brand)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups pumpkin, cubed (I went with 1 1/2 cups puree instead)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups arborio rice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • freshly ground pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley (I omitted this)
  • Parmesan cheese

First, I chopped my onion and pepper and sauteed them with some olive oil in an enameled pan. The broth needs to be simmering in a separate pan, so I got that ready. After about 5 minutes of sauteing the veggies, I added the garlic and rice for about 30 seconds before turning the heat to low and pouring in 1/2 cup of the simmering broth. The rice needs to absorbed slowly, so I poured in 1/2 cup of broth every 3-5 minutes or until the liquid was gone. I continued this for about 20 minutes until the broth was almost gone. I then mixed in the pumpkin puree and let the mix heat thoroughly.

20151031_200629 20151031_203617

Before serving, pour in the remainder of the mushroom broth. The recipe called for parsley and parmesan on top, but I omitted both.

20151031_210330

I have to say I was a bit disappointed with this recipe. Maybe it’s the pumpkin, or maybe the texture of the arborio rice, but it wasn’t my thing. Levi thought it was alright and is willing to eat leftovers, but also wasn’t blown away by any means. However, if you ARE a big pumpkin and risotto fan, then I definitely recommend that you try it.

Oh well! I’m still glad I gave it a shot. Now what to try next?

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