So, if you’re totally not into pumpkin and were kind of let down at the last pumpkin recipe we did, I’m really sorry.
BUT, if you’re OK with trusting me that this pumpkin flavor is super duper mild and adding pumpkin to your food is healthy and delicious and also there is BUTTER AND CHEESE INVOLVED, then we might be able to make this work.
I think this is the last pumpkin recipe I’ll share this year, and, while I realize that its pretty cliche I seriously do like adding it to stuff for the nutritional value, AND because if you use it in creamy things like risotto or mac and cheese you can use less of the other, less-healthy creamy stuff. So everyone wins.
First, we’ll get the veggies ready for roasting, prep the risotto stuff, then do the stir/add broth method over and over again until we have creamy dreamy risotto. For the roasted veggies, preheat the oven to 425F. I cut the fennel and apple thinly – 1/4 inch or less and about the same thickness for both, if you can manage it.
Roast the veggies for 15 minutes or so until they’re cooked and darkened at the edges. Thiiiiiis was after 20 minutes because I forgot about them, and the apples were a little bit crisp. Pay more attention than me.
Now, the bulk of the instructions – add a little bit of stock, stir it in until the rice absorbs it. I keep the stock warm in this big bowl to make the cooking go a little faster, and I add the stock a cup or a little bit more at a time – 4 or 5 additions of stock total over the course of the cooking process.
Now, as the rice cooks you’ll start to see it plump up – after 3 or so additions of stock, when the rice is a little more than half cooked, add the risotto and chopped sage to the mixture with some stock, and stir THAT in. FLAVOR.
Now, just keep adding stock for a few more minutes until the rice is fully cooked. When all is said and done you’ll add 4-6 cups of liquid (I use a combo of stock and water) over the course of 20 or 30 minutes depending on how much stock you add at a time and how hot your stove is. Taste the risotto along the way – when the rice doesn’t stick to your teeth it’s done! At that point, add the parmesan and a little bit more butter to the rice, and a bit of salt if you think it needs it.
Sage + apple + pumpkin is fully basic fall, and for good reason – the flavors go great together! This dish is filling, delicious, but feels way more meal-like than just plain rice because of the added veggies.
- 1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup arborio or other short-grain rice
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, plus extra water if needed
- 1 can (15 ounces) canned pureed pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Arrange the fennel and apple on a baking sheet in one layer with a sprinkle of salt. Use olive oil, parchment paper, or cooking spray so the veggies don't stick. Roast the apple and fennel for 15 minutes until darkened at the edges.
- Meanwhile, make the risotto. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes to soften slightly. Add the garlic and rice and cook for 3 minutes more, stirring, to coat the rice in the butter and let it toast slightly. One cup at a time, add stock to the skillet and stir until it's all incorporated. Repeat for about 20 minutes, then taste the rice - it should be mostly cooked.
- When the rice is nearly cooked, add the pumpkin and chopped sage. Keep adding chicken stock and stirring until it's all absorbed until the rice is fully cooked - you'll use 4-6 cups of stock and water, total. When the rice is cooked through and creamy, add the parmesan and remaining butter. Stir everything together and taste the risotto; add salt to your preference.
- Serve the risotto topped with the roasted vegetables and extra parm. Enjoy!