Sugar pie pumpkins front and center today.
And tomorrow and the next day too.
I’ve been roasting and playing and pumpkin-ing my way through my kitchen this week and I can’t wait to share some fun pumpkin recipes with you.
Roasting pumpkins is just like roasting any other winter squash – wash it, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and roast it facedown in a 400 degree oven until it’s soft. Then you let the squash cool slightly, scoop out the insides and puree it in a food processor until smooth.
Then you have this wonderful smooth pumpkin puree and you start making all things pumpkin.
Every year on November 1st, I can usually be found planning out my Thanksgiving menu. Call me crazy, but I really love menu planning. If we are hosting the big day then we find something interesting to do with a big turkey and everyone brings their favorite side dish to share. But my favorite turkey days are the ones where we are invited somewhere – not because of the ease of clean up, because that is always a bonus – but because I can make some fun side dish that no one would expect. A challenge to myself, if you will.
This year, I give you five ways to serve pumpkin in an unexpected way on turkey day. And first up – this delicious and creamy pumpkin risotto with thyme and parmesan.
Risotto is one of those dishes that takes a little time to make, but don’t let that deter you from enjoying such an amazing rice dish. Clear your schedule, set aside about 20 minutes, and just relax while you get into the zone of stirring a fragrant and bubbling pot of loveliness around and around.
Risotto is an easy dish to make last minute, but can also be made ahead of time and travels really well. With just five ingredients, this pumpkin risotto comes together in a flash and tastes like a million bucks.
Surprise your family this year with this fun pumpkin side dish!
pumpkin risotto with thyme and parmesan
makes about five cups of risotto
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Arborio rice
4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 ounces finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for the garnish
In a medium sized pot, bring the stock to a boil and then turn off the heat.
In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the Arborio rice to the olive oil and stir to coat. Cook the rice, stirring occasionally, for about three minutes or until the rice is toasted.
Carefully ladle about a cup of the hot broth into the rice – it will bubble up at first, so don’t burn yourself – and stir the rice around in the pot until the liquid is absorbed. Continue to ladle one cup of broth into the rice at a time, stirring continuously until the liquid is absorbed – and repeat.
The risotto will take most, if not all of the broth, and will be done when the rice is “al dente” – or still has a slight bounce in it when you bite the rice. (You want to pull the risotto off the heat at this point because the rice will continue to cook for a bit and will become the perfect texture when it is time to serve it.)
Pull the risotto pot off of the heat and stir in the pumpkin puree, the thyme, parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt and a bit of pepper. Taste the risotto and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Scoop the risotto into a serving bowl, top with a bit more parmesan cheese, and enjoy.
my notes: Risotto can be made a day ahead and finished directly before you serve it. Just cook the rice like explained above but only add half the amount of liquid and remove the rice from the heat at this point. Cool it down completely, cover it and store it in the refrigerator. The next day, heat up the remainder of the broth and the rice and finish cooking it as the recipe states above.