Voilá! and everyone at the table will enjoy seeing and tasting what’s inside this pumpkin. Inspired by the recent rice harvest, we share one of our family’s favorite fall recipes, packed with antioxidants and warmth. It takes a little bit of effort to carve out the pulp, but you will happy with the results. Blue Hokkaido is the best variety of pumpkin to use because it is subtly sweet and the right size for serving.
1 ½ cups of steamed pumpkin pulp
1 ½ cups Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice for risotto
3 ½ cups homemade chicken stock (you can substitute with vegetable broth)
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 tbsp. dry white wine
½ cup fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
½ tsp. sea salt
- Bring the chicken stock or vegetable broth to a boil and turn down to low heat to keep very hot.
- Carefully slice a circle around the top of the raw pumpkin with a sharp knife to make a lid.
- Scoop out the seeds and scrape out the stringy pulp and discard.
- With a spoon, scrape out a layer of pumpkin all around the edges. You should get about 3 cups of pumpkin. Steam and set aside to cool on a plate. Mash large pieces with a fork. (For this recipe you will only use 1 ½ cups of cooked pumpkin, so you will have extra. We cleaned our pumpkin after dinner and made the same dish the next day.)
- Sautée shallot with olive oil and butter on low heat with ¼ tsp salt for 2 minutes, being carefully not to brown but keep the shallot bubbling.
- Add pumpkin and sautée for 2 minutes uncovered with the rest of the salt.
- Add rice and stir very well while you continue to cook on low heat for 1 minute.
- Turn up heat a bit and add white wine, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon so the rice does not stick.
- When wine has evaporated, add all of the hot stock, stir well and cover until boiling. Stir again, cover and turn down to low so the liquid is just bubbling. Cook for 15 minutes, stir and taste for salt halfway through the cooking time.
- When rice is cooked to ‘al dente’ texture, add grated cheese and stir well. There should be a lot of extra broth and the consistency will be more like soup than risotto. Pour the hot risotto into the pumpkin and cover with the lid. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. The extra broth will be absorbed by the rice and the risotto will gain a nice flavor from the pumpkin.