I won’t lie.
Before floors sprinkled with toys to pick up and put away, school lunches to pack, and evening chores to accomplish, I actually curled up on this piece of furniture called a couch with my big soft fluffy socks on and watched this colorful talking box called the TV.
I know.. crazy, huh? Well..believe it. It’s the truth.
I used to be addicted to watching a cooking show called “Hell’s Kitchen.” Sounds very risque I know but actually it was very appealing to my inner foodie. It’s a reality show with an amazing world renowned chef who gives a group of determined amateur chefs the opportunity to compete for a career, working for him, in one of his five star echelon restaurants.
So, what does this have to do with a rice recipe? Well, my friends this is where I first learned about this creamy delicious dish they call Risotto. I use to watch intently as my mouth watered, wondering if it tasted as good as it looked. After all, this was an “upper crust” first course meal chefs offered in their restaurants. I decided I would have to live vicariously through the patrons being served on the show seeing that my husband didn’t think it was normal for the kids to see mommy with her lips glued to the high definition television screen. I guess that’s just not “normal.”
I really was torturing myself watching them make this week after week. That is until I realized just how easy this creamy, warm rice dish was to make here at home. Not to mention versatile.
Honestly, I can’t believe it took me this long to make! Basically it starts with a special rice: Arborio. This is a short-grain rice that is slightly sticky, mostly creamy and doesn’t absorb too much liquid. This makes for the perfect consistency. Especially if you’re like me and it’s your first time making risotto. It’s also widely available at your local grocer. Add your liquid which can be any type of stock or water. Really the rest is up to your imagination. Seeing I have been obsessed with all things pumpkin lately my imagination said pumpkin!
My next favorite, fresh herbs and lastly cheese. How could I go wrong with those ingredients? My imagination was right! This recipe is so easy and delicious you might just become addicted like me and eat it every night of the week.
This is the perfect side dish!
Need a quick dinner? Add a protein and it makes the perfect main course.
Ok, enough talk.
First, slice open and deseed your pumpkin.
Next, you want to drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add salt and pepper to season.
Roast that baby for 25 minutes until it’s soft and tender.
While your pumpkin roasts, start cooking your rice. I start by letting some schmaltz melt in the pan.
Once the broth boils I start adding in my Arborio rice, a pinch of salt for season, and pinch of nutmeg. Layers of flavor, very important in risotto!
Cover and cook on low for 25-30 minutes until the broth is absorbed and rice has a creamy (not fluffy) consistency. This is not like sticky rice or long grain rice. It should look more soupy than regular rice dishes.
Yes, that is perfect!
If you have leftover stock, now is the time to pour that extra in. It will absorb some and leave a light creamy texture to the rice.
Time to chop some fresh herbs. Parsley and Chives are what I chose but feel free to experiment.
By now that pumpkin is smelling delicious and is ready to come out of the oven.
While it’s still warm scoop the flesh from the skin and give it a rough chop
Next add your chopped Pumpkin and Herbs to your rice and stir gently.
Now it’s time to sprinkle in that melty cheese!
Add in some extra nutmeg for good measure!
Creamy rice, soft roasted pumpkin, fresh herbs, and ooey- gooey bits of melted cheese. Is there a more comforting dish?
I think not!
So whether it’s just you and a good book or you’re ready to gather the family around the table for some quality time.. enjoy this classy dish before it gets cold. Who am I kidding? I’d eat it cold too!
Pumpkin Herb Risotto
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Slice Pumpkin and deseed.
- Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt, and pepper.
- Roast for 25 minutes
- Melt 1 tablespoon schmaltz or butter in pan.
- Bring 2 cups stock to a boil and add 1 cup Arborio Rice. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- Once Rice is cooked and Pumpkin is roasted scoop out pumpkin, rough chop, and place in the rice along with salt for seasoning. Add in additional stock until its creamy. Add in chopped chives and parsley.
- Lastly add in Parmesan Cheese and stir.
- Serve immediately.