* Featured pumpkin recipes:
Pumpkin Risotto Milanese (from Sara Basso, Lansing Mich.)
Basic Risotto (scroll down for pumpkin variation):
In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer and crumble in the saffron. Maintain at a simmer over moderately low heat.
5 C chicken stock or half broth and half water
pinch of saffron threads
3 T olive oil
1/3 C minced onion
2 T finely diced prosciutto or beef marrow
1 1/2 C arborio rice
1/4 dry marsala or dry white wine
1/4 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
2 T butter
In a large noncorrosive saucepan or flameproof casserole, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and prosciutto and cook until the onion is softened and translucent, about 2 minutes.
Add the rice and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until well coated with oil and slightly translucent. Add the marsala and cook, stirring, until it evaporates.
Add 1/2 cup of the simmering stock and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Adjust the heat if necessary to maintain a simmer. Gradually adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time, cook stirring constantly, until the rice is almost tender but still slightly crunchy in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.
Add the cheese and season with the pepper and salt to taste. Continue to cook, stirring and adding stock as necessary, 1/4 cup at a time until the rice is tender but still firm and is bound with a creamy sauce, 3 to 6 minutes longer.
Stir in butter and serve immediately.
"Make the usual risotto. Use 5 lb pumpkin (zucca di napoli) for 4 cups Arborio rice (to serve 14 people) - half of that was cubed and sauteed w/ some onions in a little butter and olive oil and then set aside and added back to the risotto at finishing point along w/ Parmesan cheese. The other half of the pumpkin was also cooked in same method but left in pan and then cooked till somewhat dry - at this point we added the Arborio rice that had been sauteed in a little olive oil and butter till it lost it's white color and was somewhat translucent. Then, method was as usual - gradually ladling in hot broth and stirring till absorbed, more broth, etc. - excellent!" (Thanks to Sara, our customer since 2003.)
Smoky Pumpkin Soup (from Martina Bertsch, Chicago)
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small to medium carrot, sliced in 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 cup well-scrubbed sweet potato, cut into chunks
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup chopped raw pumpkin
1 slice oat bread, torn into pieces (this adds body and oaty nourishment. If oat bread is unavailable, substitute whole wheat or brown rice bread and add 1 tablespoon rolled oats)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half (or 2 tablespoons cashew or almond butter for creamy texture)
1/2 cup smoked gouda cheese, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Dollop of whipped cream or cr me fraiche
Grated smoked gouda
Grating of fresh nutmeg or a pinch of dried sage or thyme
Sprinkling of cayenne
Spoonful of raw or toasted pumpkin seeds
1. In a large soup pot, heat the butter on medium. When the butter is melted, add onion, garlic, carrot and sweet potato. Saute the vegetables, stirring to coat with butter, for a few minutes, until the onion is translucent.
2. Add the vegetable broth, pumpkin puree, oat bread, thyme and sage. Stir to mix thoroughly, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until the sweet potato is tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Add the light cream, cheese and parsley. Stir to mix and continue to simmer (do not boil) until the cheese is melted.
4. Puree in batches in your blender or food processor, adding more cream to thin, if needed.
5. Serve warm in individual bowls with a combination of any of the suggested toppings.