1 cup diced sweet yellow onion
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup Pinot Grigio
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 cups vegetable stock combined with 2 cups water
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. grated nutmeg
4 sprigs mint, sliced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
• Dice the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. (This occurs just before the onion starts to brown.)
• Lower the heat to low or medium-low and add the rice. Cook for approximately 2 or 3 minutes, then slowly add the Pinot Grigio, stirring until absorbed.
• Add the almonds so that they will soften as you develop the risotto.
• Slowly add in small amounts of the vegetable stock-and-water mixture, setting aside 1 cup. Stir continuously until the liquid is absorbed. (This can take 30 minutes, and it’s important to stir the rice often to develop the gluten and create the creaminess of a proper risotto.)
• When 3 cups of the vegetable stock-and-water mixture have been added, add the pumpkin, ginger, and nutmeg, then slowly stir in the remaining cup of the stock mixture until absorbed into the rice.
• Stir in the mint and let cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the olive oil, salt, and pepper before serving.
• The best way I’ve found to serve this is in pumpkin bowls. For individual servings, get a mini pumpkin for each person you will serve, and slice the tops off at a diagonal angle. Hollow out the insides and roast the shells for about 10 minutes at 350°F. Fill with the risotto, and top with a sprig of mint.
• The other way to serve this is best for a party where people will be serving themselves. Use a medium-size pumpkin and follow the same technique described above. This is a pretty, unusual holiday dish that’s guaranteed to please.
Makes 4 servings