My wife and I have been slowly expanding our culinary abilities this year via online recipes, trying about a dozen new recipes this past year. I’m pretty sure my favorite is this pumpkin almond risotto that she made once, and I have repeated twice. It is absolutely delicious and dead simple to make, although it does require some attention and stirring just before serving.
- 3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 large onion
- pumpkin (280 grams)
- 1 glass of champagne
- 1 cup of risotto-style rice
- shredded parmesan cheese slices (100 grams)
- parmesan cheese (100 grams)
- a handful of almonds
- a pinch of salt
1) Make chicken vegetable broth. You could use a bouillon cube, but if you have the time (or left over veggies) to boil some vegetables and chicken, that’s ideal. Use what you have: celery, leaks, peppers, broccoli…anything. Even the chicken is optional if you’d like to go vegetarian. I boiled some long green beans, two carrots, and a chicken breast for about 40 minutes. It would take less in a pressure cooker.
Strain out the vegetables and meat and set aside the broth for later.
2) Finely chop your onion and cook it in a frying pan with some olive oil until it starts turning soft and yellow.
3) Dice your pumpkin into small cubic centimeters and add them to the onions. Cook until the pumpkin becomes soft and begins falling apart.
4) While the pumpkin is cooking, chop up your almonds. I was able to cut most of them into between two and four slices. Or, if you can buy almond slivers directly from the store, skip this step.
5) Add the almonds to the frying pan.
6) Add the rice.
7) Add the champagne.
8) Ladle in the broth until the rice is covered. Keep stirring, and as the liquid disappears, keep ladling in more broth. It should take the rice 15 minutes or so to cook like this.
9) Open your bag of shredded parmesan, and add it to the risotto.
10) Stir in the cheese.
11) Serve with your parmesan cheese slices.
Of course – and this is my favorite part – you’ve likely now got an open champagne bottle that needs emptying.
Without a doubt, it’s the almonds that make this dish spectacular. It’s a little strange to have a crunchy rice dish, but it absolutely works. The method of adding the broth ladle by ladle makes the rice rich and creamy. The original recipe I learned from suggested adding a tablespoon of butter at the end, but, in my opinion, if there’s one thing this dish doesn’t suffer from, it’s a lack of creamy richness. Enjoy!