Pumpkin and Kale Risotto
Mmmmmm, pumpkins, I love it when this gorgeous fall squash comes into season, so many brightly colored meals to make and so many experiments for an entire season. I didn’t grow up eating a lot of pumpkin, they were exclusively used for jack o lanterns and seeds were always thrown away and never roasted. Surprising considering what a creative and frugal cook my mother is. Then again I don’t remember there being that many winter squash at the markets, though that could be summed up to my not paying any attention.
This meal was a total experiment, I have made risotto with butternut squash before, so I had the pumpkin down, but I wasn’t so sure about the kale. The flavor was just right, but I miscalculated how much the kale would cook down, assuming that it was like so many other leafy greens that cook down to nothing. I would recommend chopping the kale very finely for the right consistency with the risotto, for that matter I should have also chopped my pumpkin up a bit more as well, it was a bit too chunky.
Pumpkin and Kale Risotto
- 1 cup of Carnaroli or Arborio rice (Italians measure rice by demitasse cups, 1 cup for each person and one for the pot)
- ½ of a 2 lb pumpkin or butternut squash
- ½ of a bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
- ½ of an onion, chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 3 tbsp butter
- a few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
- grated parmiggiano-reggiano, to taste
- salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Slice the pumpkin into 4 slivers, paint with the olive oil and place on a baking sheet in the center of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing the skins.
In the meantime chop onion into fine pieces and bring the broth to a simmer.
Heat a large stovetop casserole pan over medium-high heat and melt 2 tbsp of butter at the bottom of the pan, covering the pan. When the butter is melted add onion and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add rice and coat it in the butter, toasting it a bit. When the rice becomes opaque, after about 1 minute add the wine to the pan, enough to cover the rice, stir frequently.
When the rice has absorbed the wine, add a ladleful of broth to the pan and continue stirring. Repeat and once the rice starts to absorb the broth add the roasted pumpkin. Add one more ladle of broth and add the chopped kale. Continue adding the broth as the rice absorbs it, you want it to almost dry out before adding the broth each time.
When the rice is finished it should be al dente and all of the liquid should be absorbed. Remove from heat and in a tab of butter and the chopped parsley in. Serve immediately with grated parmiggiano-reggiano.