Tag Archives: pumpkin risotto

Another piece of pumpkin? Don’t mind if I do.

6 Nov

Normally we are left with a fair amount of pumpkin flesh after the annual Halloween carving. This leaves me with enough of a problem at the best of times, but this year Mrs G had excelled herself in the garden and produced three behemoths all of which needed using up so we could reclaim the kitchen from their mighty bulk.

This took a fair amount of willpower as I don’t find pumpkin to be the most exciting fruit in the world (it is actually a fruit isn’t it?).

The result was a three meal pumpkin marathon, using them in a slightly different way each time to try to trick the palate.

Day One: Pumpkin soup

Day Two: Roast pumpkin and red onions (to accompany a rack of lamb)

Day Three: Pumpkin risotto

This felt a little  bit like pulling this blog back to its roots as a frugal (but good) eating guide, so it appealed as a challenge. I can’t say I really revised my opinion of the big orange blighters though.

Pumpkin soup

I stuck to a well-reviewed Good Food recipe here, but followed the advice of one of the commenters and added some cumin and cayenne pepper to spice it up a little. This didn’t go unnoticed by Gastronomes Junior who did an impression of people who had been force-fed a chicken vindaloo, but they did pronounce it ‘OK’. Mrs G was more charitable and volunteered the opinion that it was ‘great soup’ on more than a few occasions. We had it with a chunky seedy bread and it was very pleasant. I wouldn’t go out of my way to make it again, but it consumed an entire pumpkin and for that reason alone deserves a place in the recipe folder for next year.

Roast pumpkin and red onions

This is a Bill Grainger recipe from his ‘Everyday’ book. I thought it would go nicely with a rack of lamb that was in the freezer and as the recipe called for a honey dressing for the pumpkin I though the rack would go well with a mustard crust. In the end the pumpkin was actually the star of this dish as the lamb turned out to be very disappointing. Even I can’t blame that on the pumpkin though – the meat was just too fatty to be pleasant. I would definitely make this again with a better cut of meat, or even as a one pot with some pancetta if I upped the quantities. As a side dish this hardly dented the pumpkin though.

Pumpkin risotto

Enthusiasm fading, but pumpkin surplus still weighing on my mind, the final (or so I hoped) recipe was a risotto. Googling ‘pumpkin risotto’ served up a plethora of options, but there was a common theme running through them all – sage. This was a problem as I was without sage. Remove the sage, and there was very little consistency in the recipes. Some involved puréeing the pumpkin, some frying, some boiling. Some added mushrooms, others were remarkably plain. I realised early on that not having the right ingredients for any particular recipe was going to involve some creativity, or to put it another way, making it up as I went along.

I fried some onion and garlic, then added some chopped mushrooms and pumpkin. Next in went some white wine and the risotto rice, followed by vegetable stock. The secret ingredient was tarragon and a sprinkling of parmesan which added a little flavour to this beyond a plain risotto, but to be honest I was slightly unnerved while eating it. Something just wasn’t right – I couldn’t say what, but I didn’t really devour it eagerly.

…Special bonus pumpkin pasta

I’m too good to you. Before this post was even published I decided that you would feel short-changed by only three ‘delicious’ pumpkin recipes and so I am bravely tackling day four of the endurance test.

This time pasta is to be the pumpkin vehicle of choice, but I’m not leaving anything to chance here and making sure I include a large helping of the Lazy Gastronome’s ingredient d’année – chorizo. With any luck it will mask the pumpkin blandness…read on for the results.

5 easy steps to the best pumpkin recipe of the week

1. Pan fry some onion and garlic for 5 minutes

2. Add a handful of diced pumpkin and fry for a further 5 minutes

3. Add a handful of diced chorizo and keep on frying, but with the heat turned low

4. Boil some pasta to taste and toss with shredded mozzarella

5. Eat – hurray, a great pumpkin recipe at last!

So after all that did I shift the pumpkin mountain? Actually I hardly scratched it. The last three recipes alone were serviced by less than one-third of a single pumpkin. They really are a pain in the neck to get rid of. Alas, I will now be getting rid of the rest in the compost heap which is perhaps the most fitting end. Back into the soil, ready to contribute to the growing of yet another ridiculous haul of pumpkins for next year.