Pumpkin Part Deux :: Pumpkin Risotto with Grana Padano

Risotto may take some time and attention to make, and make well, but it's a much simpler dish than you might think - and it's a sure thing if you're looking to impress.  Risotto's creamy, rich consistency is in part thanks to butter and cheese, but in this version, the addition of roasted pumpkin lightens things up and brings in heart healthy antioxidants and beta carotene (so it's easy on the eyes too). 

Happy Halloween witches!

Brussels sprout salad with fresh grapes, toasted hazelnuts & pecorino romano cheese

Pumpkin Risotto :: with Grana Padano

Serves :: 8 to 10


1 medium sugar pie pumpkin, peeled and seeds discarded, meat cut into small chunks

2 cups cremini mushrooms, diced

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon each fresh rosemary and marjoram

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 shallot, minced

2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice

5 1/2 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken or vegetable stock

1//2 cup dry white wine

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

2 to 3 knobs of unsalted butter

5 to 6 ounces of grated grana padano or parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

fresh grated nutmeg


Preheat oven to 375F.  Toss pumpkin with 2 tablespoons olive oil and roast on a baking sheet until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes.  Set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and saute mushrooms with 1 teaspoon each rosemary and marjoram until softened, 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat.  Set aside.

In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup olive oil and saute onion and shallot over medium heat until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.  Add rice and saute 5 minutes until glossy.  Heat stock in a separate pot to keep warm.  Add 1 cup of stock to rice and stir until well-absorbed.  Add in roasted pumpkin.  Continue to add 1/2 cup of stock at a time until absorbed.  Add in mushrooms and white wine after all stock has been added and absorbed.  Add remaining rosemary, salt, pepper, butter and half of the grana padano.  Stir until well-blended and wine is fully absorbed.  Stir in remaining grated cheese.  Finish with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg and serve with additional cheese.  


TAGS: pasta, pumpkin, risotto

posted: 10.31.11


All About Pumpkin

Happy Halloween!  For a holiday that traditionally hinges on sweets and spooks, Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year.  Memories of pillow cases full of bite-sized, cavity-causing candy come to mind.  But so do pumpkins.  From carving them to roasting the seeds and popping them as a crunchy, healthful snack--you're making the most out of the entire food, sustainable eating for sure. I passed up breaking out a stellar costume this year for a comfy, cozy potluck dinner with close friends, the perfect antidote to the season's first shock of wintry weather.  My contribution?  A Brussels sprout salad and a major dose of pumpkin, roasted sweet & spicy seeds, and pumpkin risotto (recipe to come) to pair with my friend's unbelievable braised short ribs and celery root mash, autumn's bounty at its best.  For a simple something to nibble on, here's how I roasted those seeds..

Spicy Sweet Roasted Pumpkins Seeds ::


seeds from one medium-sized pumpkin (about 1.5-2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper blend (black and cayenne)

flaky sea salt, to taste

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon metled butter


Preheat oven to 375F.  

Toss cleaned, dry seeds with remaining ingredients.  Spread on a baking sheet and roast about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.  

Images via :: Nourish

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TAGS: pumpkin, snacks, halloween

posted: 10.30.11


Well-Designed Water

I think just about all of us can use a little more water in our lives, the widespread recommendation of 64 ounces daily isn't always a synch to guzzle down.  But sometimes one little thing can change your world...and in this case, your water consumption (which in turn, gets you better health, digestion, weight, skin and energy).  

Hello Bobble jug.  Similar to Bobble's popular water bottle, the jug is free of BPA, Phthalates and PVC, and is recyclable.  Add sleek, functional design, fun colorful tops and a filter that does its job right as you're filling the jug with water (so you're not waiting around by the sink for ages). You might just have a water-drinking revolution on your hands.

Move over Brita, Bobble jugs can be found at Target or directly on the website here.  

Images via :: Bobble

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TAGS: bobble, water

posted: 10.27.11

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