There are so many great ways to cook and eat pumpkin. We still had fresh puree to play with so I added it to a recipe that I’ve used and served at many of my events, risotto cakes. With a pinch of this and a pinch of that, the result was sublime and perfect for this time of year. The classic way to make risotto is with butter and cheese but as you’ll see we substituted olive oil for butter and we used part-skim Parmesan cheese. Little tricks like these will ‘healthify’ your recipes.
There are many advantages to serving risotto cakes: They’re a great buffet item as they’re all individually portioned, it makes a great side dish to bring to a pot-luck and it’s also a dish you can prepare ahead of time. Best of all, they look as great as they taste, if I do say so myself.
1 cup Arborio rice
4 cups chicken broth or light colored veg broth – Warmed on stove
1 bay leaf – add to broth for flavor
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 med. shallot finely diced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (part-skim)
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
S&P to taste
In a medium saucepan, warm the broth over medium-high heat. In a large heavy saucepan, add 1 tbsp olive oil and saute diced shallot until tender but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add a ladle-full of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. If you find the broth is evaporating too quickly, reduce heat. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth one ladle at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of the broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total. Once ready fold in pumpkin, parmesan and spices. Season to taste.
Transfer risotto into oiled dish to set. I used a 25cm Pyrex glass pie plate. Refrigerate to chill. Once chilled, using a medium sized cookie cutter, extract individual portions.
To serve transfer risotto cakes to an oiled oven tray. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and pop in oven to re-heat for 10 – 12 mins. I actually heated mine in the broiler to get the tops nice and crispy.
All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.