Pumpkin risotto is an excellent use for one of those small pumpkins or winter squashes laying around everywhere right now... maybe even on your front porch. Each variety has a slightly different flavor, but they'll all work.In keeping with my "Components Matter" bent: Short-grain brown rice is much better in this recipe as it releases starches like the arborio rice does. It's usually the only type I keep in my pantry but I recently bought a popular long grain variety and now understand why so many people think brown rice is dry and unpleasantly healthy-tasting. I've found the Nishiki brand here in Yankee Land and back in Texas in the international aisle of the grocery store (Shaw's, Market Basket, and Fiesta) or in bulk at places like Whole Foods or Central Market.
Recipe: Pumpkin Risotto
You can roast the pumpkin at a higher heat if you're using a pressure cooker for the rice and want the gourd done faster, just be sure to check on it frequently so it doesn't burn. You could even use those tiny decorative gourds -- just slice in half and scoop the seeds -- but you may need more salt because they tend to be more bitter. Including the roasted skin gives a nice texture and extra fiber. Try it!
1 recipe, Brown Rice Risotto
1 small pumpkin or winter squash [2+ lbs]
salt and pepper, to taste
Before you begin the risotto, preheat your oven to 350. [I used my toaster oven.]
Cut your pumpkin in half through the middle, scoop out the seeds, and quarter each half. Spray the chunks with a little cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for about 45 minutes -- while you make the risotto -- until edges darken and the flesh doesn't yield any resistance when pokes with a fork. Set aside to cool until risotto is almost finished, then tear the chunks apart [I keep about half of the skins and discard the rest] and stir them into the rice at the very end and adjust the salt to taste.