Fresh Living

IMG_4927.JPGFoodie Friday is upon us again!  Last week, I shared tips for how to make your own pumpkin puree.  This week, I’ve got a creamy, warming, makes-the-kitchen-smell-amazing way to use your puree–the definition of feel-good comfort food:  cranberry-studded pumpkin risotto. 

I’m a sucker for “sweet and savory” together, and this dish captures it in a way that says “pure autumn yum.”  It’s earthy from sage, sweet from cinnamon, creamy from the smooth pumpkin, and redolent from a splash of white wine.  Just the thing to revive your joy after a long day.

Before I get to the recipe, be sure to check out our blog sister Janice’s post about how pumpkin seeds are natural anti-depressants.  I told you pumpkin was feel-good food!  Ok, let’s get cooking.

Cranberry-Studded Pumpkin Risotto
Serves 2 for dinner (with leftovers) or 4 as a side dish

1 c. arborio rice (the risotto classic)
1 c. pumpkin puree (make your own!)
3-4 c. chicken stock (or veggie stock, if you prefer)
1/2 c. dried cranberries
2 T. olive oil
splash of white wine
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced fine
3-4 large leaves of sage, chopped
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. cinnamon
salt and pepper

1.  Heat the chicken or veggie stock in a medium pot until it’s hot but not boiling.

2.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in a wide straight-sided skillet.  When warm, add diced onions and chopped sage, with a pinch of salt, and saute until fragrant, 1-3 minutes.

3.  Add the arborio rice and toast briefly, until you can see the white “pearl” in the center of each grain.

4.  Stir in the wine, and then add 1-2 ladles-full of the hot chicken stock.  Stirring periodically, add more stock as each ladle-full becomes absorbed into the rice.  The rice should be cooked in 20 minutes.

5.  Meanwhile, heat the pumpkin puree in the microwave for a minute or less–just enough to warm it up if it’s been stored in the refrigerator.  Add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the puree, and reserve.

6.  At about the 18-minute mark, just before your last ladle-full of stock, add the cranberries to the risotto and allow them to warm and plump in the stock.

7.  Add the spiced pumpkin puree and stir until it melts into the risotto, coating every grain.

8.  Serve in bowls–a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese is optional–and watch the smile bloom on your face!

What are your favorite feel-good foods? 

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