Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wild Mushroom and Pumpkin Risotto

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The unfortunate thing about risottos is that if you' re the only cook in the house and have no outside help i.e. a maid, you can only serve them when you know your guest very well. You can prep up all the way to the cooking of the rice but once this starts, you have to devote a half hour and lots of patience to turn out a good risotto. When I serve them for company, I usually try to invite a good friend of mine who is also a good risotto maker and we alternate in and out of the kitchen. But how many of us have such a friend? In any event, don't ever try to serve risotto for more than six people, as most pans are only big enough for six healthy servings. Get all your sauteing out of the way, bring the stock to a rolling boil and the rest is a lot of arm work. But when you are finished, you will have one of the most delightful dishes on earth! I also suggest serving it as a lunch dish as it is deceptively filling and tough to digest at night. A simple salad, some bread sticks and a Sauvignon Blanc is all you need as accompaniments. I like a fruit based dessert, no crust, such as the Peche Melba or better yet, Caramelized Baked Apples if they are in season.

Serves 6


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (1 1/3 cups)
2 medium white onions, finely diced
3/4 cup dry Riesling or white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh chanterelles
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and roughly chopped
7 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (about 11 ounces)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


Heat the oil in a nonreactive medium saucepan. Add the pumpkin and half of the onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the pumpkin is just tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the wine, nutmeg, white pepper and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a food processor, puree the pumpkin mixture until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.

To the same pan, add 2 TB butter and saute the shiitake and the chanterelles. 3-5 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the Vegetable Stock for Risotto to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep the stock hot.

In a nonreactive medium saucepan, heat 2 1/2 tablespoons of the butter until it begins to sizzle. Add the rice and the remaining onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Immediately stir in 1 cup of the hot stock and cook, stirring constantly, until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to moderate and gradually add 3 more cups of the hot stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring and cooking until each cup is almost absorbed before adding the next, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the pumpkin puree. Continue adding the remaining 3 cups stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring and cooking as above, until the rice is tender, about 10 minutes longer. The risotto will be quite loose. Stir in the parsley and the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons butter.

Spoon the risotto into 6 warmed soup plates and sprinkle the Parmesan on top. Arrange the mushrooms on top. Serve immediately.


  1. There's nothing like a good risotto. Making it is another story, as you set forth in your ercent entry.

  2. Did I tell you about the risotto "avec quatre fromages" we had in Paris?? To die for: must have had a pint of heavy cream and close to a pound of gruyere in that one enormous bowl!!! Oh I love risotto..

  3. just somehow stumbled on your site I do hope your still well. fantastic recipes!


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