What do you giving up in lent season? I committed to stay in and cook more instead of going out for unhealthy foods. I can not eat the same dishes for the next 40 days, therefore, I am stocking up on recipes. One of my favorite diners in the Bay Area is 71 St. Peter – good foods and very pleasant setting. I really like their “pumpkin risotto” and been wanting to try to make it at home but never got around to it. So what is my excuse now? I also paired that up with some Frascati (white wine) from Trader Joe’s. This is how they cook it:
1 medium pumpkin
4 mini pumpkins
4 oz of white onion (chopped fine)
2 garlic cloves (chopped fine)
4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
12 oz of Arborio rice
36 oz of chicken broth
4 oz of white wine
8 oz of butter
4 oz of Saint André cheese
½ tbsp of nutmeg
½tbsp of white pepper
Salt and black pepper
1. In a small sauté pan melt 4 oz of butter and add a pinch of white pepper and nutmeg
2. Slice medium pumpkin in 4 pieces. Remove seeds and place slices on a baking pan. Brush pumpkin slices with melted butter mix. Add salt to taste. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees or until pumpkin is fork tender. Chill and set aside. We recommend this step a day prior to risotto preparation.
3. Prep mini pumpkins by slicing their top off. Pumpkin tops will be used as garnish for this dish. Clean and follow #2 cooking steps. We suggest this step a day in advance.
4. Peel cooked pumpkin slices and cut in small cubes.
5. Pre-heat a medium size saucepan at low heat. Add extra virgin olive oil, onions, garlic, nutmeg, white pepper and a pinch of salt and cook until onions and garlic turn slightly brown.
6. Add white wine and flame its alcohol. Add pumpkin cubes and chicken broth gradually (note: chicken broth must be pre-heated before adding to risotto when cooking). Fold occasionally. For an al dente risotto, cook for about 18 to 20 minutes. For softer rice, add 6 to 8 minutes. Finish risotto by adding the cheese and butter. Fold rice until it is nice and creamy. Remove from heat.
7. Heat up mini pumpkins for a few minutes before finishing the risotto (we suggest to start right before adding the cheese to the risotto).
8. Serve risotto in a mini pumpkin and use its lid as garnish.