Every fall I start anew my love affair with pumpkins. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin granola, roast pumpkin, pumpkin spice lattes… my goodness is it ever delicious! Conor will look at me strangely and shake his head a little when I fill our shopping cart with beautiful little sugar pumpkins, and then patiently help me prepare them for roasting. I still have a few bags of pumpkin puree in my freezer, just waiting to be used for pie, oatmeal, or baked goodies! It is 100% worth the effort, as the flavour of canned pumpkin just cannot compete, and it is so convenient to have some on hand for whenever I like. So while this recipe is decidedly out of season, I had some leftover chopped pumpkin in my freezer from the last time I made risotto just begging to be used.
Pumpkin and Sage Risotto (serves 4)
~ Gluten free, vegetarian, vegan option ~
For the risotto
- 1 tbsp. organic butter
- 300g arborio rice (about half a small package, or 10.5 ounces)
- 500g pumpkin, diced (about half a pumpkin)
- 1 cup diced leeks
- 1 cup diced crimini or portobello mushrooms
- 1 whole clove of garlic
- 1 fresh sprig of sage
- 1 tbsp. organic butter and 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. fresh sage, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 4-5 cups organic, low sodium vegetable stock
- Freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- black or white truffle oil, for drizzling
For the crispy sage
- 2-3 tbsp. organic butter
- a handful of fresh sage leaves
- In a small pot, bring your vegetable stock to a boil. If it comes to a boil before you are ready to use it, reduce heat to low and gently simmer, covered, until you need it.
- In a frying pan over medium heat, melt butter and olive oil.
- Add the whole garlic clove, sage sprig, and cubed pumpkin. Cook for about 20 minutes, until soft, adding water if necessary (rather than more oil). Discard sage and garlic.
- In a separate larger pan over medium-low heat, cook leeks and mushrooms in butter for several minutes, until soft. Add the minced sage, garlic, and arborio rice. Stir for about a minute. Add the wine and stir until it has cooked down and there are no longer heavy alcohol fumes.
- Add in stock, a ladleful at a time, and stir until it dissolves. Repeat until rice is cooked thoroughly.
- Add parmesan and seasoning and mix thoroughly.
For the crispy sage
- Melt butter over medium-high heat and cook until it begins to brown. Watch carefully, as it will turn from nutty and brown to burnt and black quickly!
- Remove from heat and add sage leaves.
- They will crisp up quite quickly. Once they do, simply remove with a slotted spoon or fork and transfer to a paper towel.
- Drizzle with truffle oil and garnish with crispy sage. You may also want to add freshly shaved parmesan.
* I am sure you could make this vegan by replacing the butter with either more olive oil, or coconut oil. The coconut taste would be mild but would pair nicely with the pumpkin.
* I highly recommend doubling this recipe! I would have used a whole package of rice if I had had it on hand, and definitely would have appreciated more leftovers.