LexKook is a delightful culinary initiative founded by a passionate 16-year-old chef, B.T — a Minuteman senior with a remarkable flair for the culinary arts. The series is inspired by her volunteer work with LexEatTogether, and by her mother, also a chef.
Embark on a culinary journey with my Vegan Pumpkin Risotto, a delightful holiday twist on the Italian classic rooted in centuries of tradition. As the festive season unfolds, harness the comforting essence of pumpkin to craft a dish that marries sweetness, creaminess, and health. Originating from the lush fields of Arborio rice, this plant-based adaptation embraces the rich cultural heritage of risotto while infusing it with a contemporary and compassionate touch. Join me in celebrating the joy of the holidays with a dish that captures the essence of tradition, health, and the global flavors that make this pumpkin risotto an unforgettable addition to your seasonal festivities.
- Arborio Rice (¾ cup)
- Raw pumpkin (½ cup)
- Vegetable Broth (2 cups)
- Wine (¼ cup) *Optional*
- Homemade Vegetable Broth:
- Water (2 ½ cups)
- Carrot (½ cup)
- White Radish(½ cup)
- Onion (⅓ )
- Cinnamon (Optional)
- Herbs (Thyme, Rosemary)
- Garlic (2 cloves)
- Mushroom (½ cups )
- Salt and Pepper
- If you’ve got store-bought vegetable stock, lucky you! Skip ahead; if not, let’s embark on crafting a homemade version. Feel free to toss in any sweet and sturdy veggie scraps you fancy.
- Begin by chunking up your carrots and radishes. For a nicer broth hue and an extra layer of taste, roast your onions and carrots at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
- Now, into a pot goes your water, radishes, onions, carrots, herbs, peppercorns, and a tablespoon of salt. Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer on low for 50 minutes.
- While that simmers away, let’s deal with the pumpkin. If raw, slice it into wedges, slice away the skin, then dice it up.
- Heat a pan with oil on medium heat, toss in chopped garlic and raw pumpkin: saute for 5 minutes. Sauteing your pumpkin, as opposed to roasting, better preserves its inherent sweetness.
- Pour in ¼ cup of your simmered vegetable stock, cover, and let it steam for 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is fork tender.
- With the pumpkin tender, blend it into a puree – this golden concoction will be our secret weapon later.
- Onto the mushrooms – a quick flash fry in a hot pan with oil for 3 minutes rids them of excess moisture, ensuring our risotto doesn’t turn watery.
- Rinse your rice thoroughly and toss it into a pan with oil. Give it a toast over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Feeling adventurous? Add a splash of wine; if not, two ladles of your simmered veggie stock will do the trick.
- Let the rice dance in the stock until just a hint of liquid remains, usually around 3 minutes. Stir occasionally, ensuring every grain is cooked. When you scrape your pan, there should be a slow flow of rice and liquid as it fills up the empty area.
- Repeat the ladle-and-cook cycle until your stock is depleted. Don’t panic if the rice isn’t fully cooked yet; here’s where our creamy pumpkin steps in. Add it to the pan and let it cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until your desired creaminess is achieved.
- Once the symphony is harmonized, season to taste with salt and pepper, introduce the mushrooms, give it all a gentle stir.
- Serve and savor every aromatic, flavorful bite!