In October I’m often drawn to serving something in little pumpkins, this time it’s ...' />
In October I’m often drawn to serving something in little pumpkins, this time it’s Pumpkin Risotto. The pumpkins look cute and when served on a black plate it creates a deliciously dramatic affect.
Since rice is naturally gluten free it makes sense that anyone on a gluten free diet would want to try ‘all the dishes’. The list is long but for me it includes classic dishes like Spanish paella, Creole jambalaya, Thai coconut rice, French rice pilaf and of course Italian risotto.
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Risotto is made with short-grained Arborio rice, sometimes labeled risotto rice. The technique for making risotto involves stirring small amounts of hot stock into the rice during the entire cooking time. The liquid is absorbed slowly allowing the rice to release its starch creating the rich, creamy consistency desired.
Once you’re comfortable with the risotto method you can look for interesting recipes or create your own variation.
As the name implies, Sugar Pie pumpkins are often considered the ideal pumpkin for making pie. However, I like to find the smallest ones for serving whole filled with soup or a rice concoction. The tiny Jack-Be-Little pumpkins can also be used for a smaller portion. Although they are most often used as a decoration they are edible and make a gorgeous side dish for any autumn meal.
Butternut squash is hands-down my favourite squash. I often have one in my pantry and use it many different ways. This risotto can be made with butternut squash but I chose pumpkin because I wanted to serve it inside pumpkins. Either way it is a delicious autumn side dish.
Every kitchen needs some basic tools starting with a good knife (this 10 inch Chef’s knife is my choice), a sturdy cutting board and a good quality set of pots and pans. To make risotto I use the large saucepan from my set.
Cutting Winter Squash – Squash that has hard skin like pumpkin and butternut can be difficult to cut. Microwave the whole squash for one minute to soften the exterior and it will be much easier to cut. Even one minute partially cooked the mini pumpkins but I was going to cook them right away so I didn’t worry about that.
Removing Squash Seeds – I use my grapefruit knife and grapefruit spoon. to remove the seeds and string from inside winter squash. They both have a serrated edge that catches the sides of the squash better than any other tool I’ve tried. If you have a rarely used melon baller in your drawer you can try that too.
Let me know in the comments below if you have a favourite rice dish or if you tried this risotto.
Spanish Paella with Seafood
Indian Rice Pilau – I call it Fruited Rice Pilaf with Pine Nuts
|5 small sugar pumpkins, about 10 oz each|
|4-5 cups unsalted, gluten free chicken stock**|
|2 Tbsp butter (first amount)|
|½ onion, finely chopped|
|½ cup finely grated fresh pumpkin|
|1¼ cups Arborio rice|
|2 Tbsp butter (second amount)|
|¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese|
|EXTRA – oil, salt and pepper as needed|
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