It combined a savoury risotto with swirls of a luscious cranberry sauce, utterly wowing me with it's great fusion of flavours and leaving me desperate to re-create something similar at home.
Being in the midst of autumn (and yes also a global pandemic not like we can forget) I thought it was only fitting to centre the savoury element of this dish around the humble pumpkin, and in proper American style I actually managed to find some tined pumpkin puree at Wholefoods, after all pumpkin puree is kinda a big deal in America around Thanksgiving time where it is used to make pies and all sorts of other dishes.
If you can't find it tinned, simply roast some seasonal pumpkin until tender in the oven, blend it in a food processor and BAM you've got your puree (if you still need a recipe this one couldn't be more straightforward), not hard to do just slightly more effort involved than simply opening a tin.
This was my first oven, no stir, risotto and it was seriously amazing how you could get that perfect creamy texture in the final risotto without any stirring and obsessively watching pan involved!
The mix of pumpkin, broth, fresh herbs and spices, finished off with a helping of white wine and goats cheese, was simply outstanding and one of the most fragrant and refined risottos I have ever sampled.
Not that the dish stops here. OH NO! The finished risotto gets topped with a wonderful cranberry sauce, made from scratch using frozen cranberries in a matter of minutes, more creamy goats cheese and some sunflower seeds for added crunch and texture.
It sounds like a fancy restaurant dish, it certainly looks the part and wow, wow, wow it also tastes it. I was quite proud of this recipe, slowly getting confident enough to execute my own flavour combinations and recipe adaptions, and I cannot recommend making this enough.
Quite literally autumn on a plate - vibrant, fragrant, surprising and veggie friendly. A solid 10/10 from me and the perfect dish to brighten up a dull lockdown evening in the most tasty of ways!
- 100g caster sugar
- 100ml fresh orange juice
- 250g frozen cranberries (I got mine at Sainsbury's)
- Tip 100g sugar and 100ml orange juice into a saucepan, then bring to the boil.
- Stir in 250g frozen cranberries, then simmer until tender but still holding their shape – this will take about 5 mins.
- The sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Set aside until your risotto is ready to be plated up, ready to warm up when needed.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup pumpkin purée (from a tin or homemade)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh chopped sage
- 1 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 155 goat cheese, reserve 50g to speckle on top of the finished risotto
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- Preheat your oven to 200 degree celsius.
- In a large glass measuring cup or bowl whisk together a cup of the vegetable broth with the pumpkin.
- Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed and oven proof sauce pan (with lid) over medium-high heat. When hot, add in the shallot and sauté for a minute.
- Add in the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour in the rice and stir everything together.
- Pour in the pumpkin broth mixture along with the remaining 3 cups of vegetable broth.
- Add in the herbs, spices and season with salt and pepper.
- Stir together and cover with the saucepan lid.
- Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, stir the rice then remove from the heat and place on the middle rack of the oven.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes or until the rice is tender and cooked through.
- Remove the pot from the oven.
- Remove the lid and pour in the wine and goat cheese.
- Stir vigorously for 2 minutes until the rice is thick and creamy.
- If the risotto seems dry add more vegetable broth or water.
- Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper then taste for seasoning.
- Serve the risotto topped with extra crumbled goat cheese, warm cranberry sauce and sunflower seeds AND ENJOY!