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Pumpkin Risotto with Sage and Hazelnuts.
This dish is a feast of warm, subtly sweet and earthy autumn flavors. This vegan version is just as creamy as my Parmesan-laden original, and I think it’s even more lush and delicious.
(for about 4 hearty servings)
-1 pie/sugar pumpkin, roasted and cut into chunks
-1 ½ c Arborio rice
-1 ½ c dry white wine
-4 c vegetable broth (homemade is best, but Pacific makes a tasty one)
-1 yellow onion, chopped
-2 tbsp fresh sage leaves, cut into thirds (roughly)
-1 c crushed hazelnuts (roasted if you fancy)
-1 tbsp Earth Balance
-Salt to taste
-Prepare your pumpkin by cutting off the stem, halving it lengthwise, scooping out the seeds, and placing it on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, concave side down, and roasting for 40 minutes at 400 F. It will be done when it is fork tender and the skin is a deep orange. Let cool, peel the skin off (it should come off quite easily), and cut into chunks.
For the risotto itself, begin by heating your Earth Balance at the bottom of a large pot and softening the onions over medium heat until they turn translucent. This is a good time to add salt. Add the rice and wine, and stir continuously until the wine is absorbed. Then, lower the heat just a touch, and add the broth, ½ c at a time, stirring continuously and adding more when each round of broth is absorbed. Continue cooking the rice with this method until al dente. Stir in your pumpkin chunks and sage, and mix gently until the sage slightly wilts (you just want to cook off the fuzzy texture without compromising the flavor). Top each serving with ¼ c hazelnuts and savor.
Vegan Month of Food, Day 23: Dinner for the Autumnal Equinox.
This solid, go-to autumn dish was crafted with Stateside autumn in mind, but we actually do grow local pumpkins, called Calabaza pumpkins, here on St. Croix… Tonight, I hope to make a Crucian version of this comforting, delicious meal.