Happy Halloween Pumpkin Risotto

Happy Halloween.

I only celebrated Halloween once in my life, during my high school exchange year in Canada. I carved pumpkins, dressed up (as a cow, for the records) and went trick or treating with a couple of friends. Almost every house in the small Canadian town I was living in was participating. Many, many kids and teenagers in the streets peacefully and joyfully collecting their treats. The damage around town during the night, which just seems to be part of Halloween, I just simply did not understand.

pumpkin risotto @ strudelandcream.com

When I returned to Europe I continued to carve pumpkins for Halloween once in a while. In Austria and Switzerland Halloween has no long tradition, but it has become a topic among children and teenagers over the last years.

Interestingly a few years ago at least one of the major grocery stores here in Switzerland tried to participate in the small “hype” and started selling a significant amount of Halloween treats – I haven’t seen these lately. I am sure that there are some out there in the stores but not in a noticeable amount. Not only for this reason, Halloween would even go by me unnoticed, nobody ringing the bell for treats on the 31st in my area and only a few kids dressed up in the streets in the last years. So Halloween could go unnoticed, if there weren’t all these incredible Halloween treats and recipe posted out there in the virtual world … and if there weren’t these senseless crushed eggs on our windows and house walls every year around Halloween with a regular persistence.

pumpkin risotto @ strudelandcream.com

While I “wait” for our this year’s share of Halloween eggs on the house walls, I will close the blinds, sit back, look at my indoor Jack O’Lantern and enjoy this pumpkin risotto.

pumpkin risotto

Ingredients (for 3-4 servings):
700 g pumpkin flesh
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp honey
1 big white onion, finely chopped
250 g risotto rice (such as Arborio)
100 ml white wine
700 ml hot broth (e.g. vegetable broth)
1/2 tsp ginger, freshly grated
50 g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (plus extra to serve)
3 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt & pepper

1) Preheat oven to 220 ºC. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) Remove peel and seeds of pumpkin. Cut in cubes. In a bowl, toss pumpkin with one tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Distribute pumpkin cubes evenly on baking sheet and roast in oven. After 15 minutes drizzle with two tea spoons liquid honey. Toss well. Roast for another 10 minutes.
3) Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a big pot. Sauté the finely chopped onion. Add rice and sauté for a couple of minutes until glassy.
4) Add the wine and cook until the rice has absorbed it.
5) Reduce heat. Gradually add broth (always that much that the rice is slightly covered in liquid). Let risotto rice simmer without lid for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
6) Stir in grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and one table spoon of fresh lemon juice. Add roasted pumpkin cubes and season with salt and pepper. Serve risotto with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.


Zutaten (für 3-4 Personen):
700 g Kürbisfleisch
2 EL Olivenöl
2 TL Honig
1 grosse weisse Zwiebel, fein gehackt
250 g Risotto-Reis (wie z.B. Arborio)
100 ml Weisswein
700 ml heisse Brühe (z.B. Gemüsebrühe)
1/2 TL Ingwer, frisch gerieben
50 g Parmesan, frisch gerieben (und mehr zum Servieren)
3 EL glatte Petersilie, gehackt
1 EL Zitronensaft
Salz & Pfeffer

1) Backofen auf 220 ºC vorheizen. Ein Backblech mit Backpapier auslegen.
2) Kürbis schälen, entkernen und würfeln. In einer Schlüssel Kürbis mit 1 Esslöffel Olivenöl vermengen. Mit Salz und Pfeffer würzen. Kürbiswürfel gleichmässig auf dem Backblech verteilen und im Backofen rösten. Nach 15 Minuten zwei Teelöffel flüssigen Honig über die gerösteten Kürbiswürfel verteilen und gut mischen. Weitere 10 Minuten rösten.
3) Ein Esslöffel Olivenöl in einem grossen Topf erhitzen. Feingehackte Zwiebel darin weich dünsten. Reis hinzugeben und einige Minuten glasig dünsten.
4) Mit Weisswein ablöschen und köcheln bis der Reis den Wein aufgesogen hat.
5) Hitze reduzieren. Brühe nach und nach dazu giessen. Der Reis sollte immer leicht mit Flüssigkeit bedeckt sein. Risotto-Reis ohne Deckel köcheln lassen (15-20 Minuten). Gelegentlich umrühren.
6) Geriebenen Parmesan, gehackte Petersilie und ein Esslöffel frisch gepressten Zitronensaft untermischen. Geröstete Kürbiswürfel hinzugeben und mit Salz und Pfeffer abschmecken. Risotto mit etwas frisch geriebenem Parmesan servieren.