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Pumpkin Risotto

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Recipe adopted from spoonforkbacon.com.

There's just over four days left on the Thanksgiving countdown, so for many Americans, that means that turkeys have been bought and the thawing process has just begun.  But what about the millions of vegetarians out there?  How do you celebrate a day that most associate with a giant bird?  What kinds of food options are out there?  Luckily, plenty.

Risotto has been a favorite of mine for years, and when I gave this pumpkin recipe a try last year, I was hooked.  This recipe manages to take the comfort of pumpkin and give it a savory touch.  Although many think of risotto as a starter or side dish, this can easily be the main course.  You could even go one step further and plate the risotto inside a roasted butternut squash!  Mmm mmm good.  And luckily, most other Thanksgiving staples are already vegetarian friendly.  Consider the following for some more ideas:

And that's just from this site alone.  Although I do enjoy the typical dish of the day, I wouldn't even notice that the turkey was missing if I had the previous list sitting in front of me.

What other vegetarian dishes do you usually serve on Thanksgiving?


1 1/4 cups pumpkin purée
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
A pinch of ground clove

1/4 cup hot low-sodium vegetable broth
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic minced
2 cups Arborio rice
Roughly 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (similar to cream cheese)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
Salt and pepper to taste


Over medium heat in a sauce pan, combine the pumpkin, cream, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.  Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.  After several minutes of simmering and stirring, transfer the mixture to a food processor and combine with 1/4 cup vegetable broth.  Season with salt and pepper.  While blending, add 4 tablespoons of butter, one tablespoon at a time.  Blend for a total of 3 minutes, or until smooth.  Reserve pumpkin mixture for later.  [Side note:  If you'd like to save some time, this purée can be made one to two days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until ready].

Over low heat, warm the 5 cups of vegetable broth in a sauce pan.  In a large saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter with the olive oil.  Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.  Season with salt and pepper if necessary.  Add the rice and continue cooking for several minutes, making sure to stir often to prevent burning.  [Side note:  By toasting the rice, you're adding a nice nutty flavor to the dish].  Add one cup of vegetable broth to the dish, and stir.  When most of the broth has been absorbed, add an additional cup.  Repeat this process until the broth is used up, or until the rice is tender (this will take roughly 25 minutes total, or 5 minutes per cup of broth).  Once rice is properly cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the pumpkin purée, cheeses, and fresh thyme.  Season to taste, and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and/or thyme.

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