Pumpkin risotto (vegan)

13 July 2014

I never ate risotto as a child. Dad doesn't approve of mushy rice, and risotto falls into that category for him, so we just never ate it. While mushy rice with stir fry is rather gross, risotto is delicious. Sorry Dad, you're wrong on this one.

Pumpkin Risotto

Serves: 4-6
Veganized and otherwise improved from: Charlie Palmer

  • Because you use so much stock and it gets cooked down, if you don't use salt-reduced stock, it might end up crazy salty, especially if, like me, you always make a stronger than recommended stock. I haven't had problems with Massel stock (not salt reduced), but last time I used Vegeta and it was over-salty. You have been warned.
  • I've erred on the conservative side with the nutritional yeast. I suggest adding the 1/4 cup, and then adding extra to individual plates if desired.

  • 2 + 2 tablespoons olive oil (light, not virgin), divided
  • 2 medium onions, the first can be coarsely chopped, the second should be finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 600g pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (or water)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons nutmeg
  • About 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 7 cups salt-reduced vegetable stock
  • 2 ½ tablespoons vegan butter (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan (I usually use a wok, it's unconventional, but it works well). Add the coarsely chopped onions and the garlic,and cook over a moderate heat until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the pumpkin, and cook, stirring frequently, until the pumpkin is just tender, about 7 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the wine, nutmeg, and white pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a medium saucepan, cover the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce heat so it's just simmering. 
  5. Purée the pumpkin mixture. I usually a stick mixer, but you can use a food processor or blender. I like to leave it with a bit of texture, but if you prefer smooth, do that. Set aside within easy reach. 
  6. Wipe out the pan/wok you used for the pumpkin, and add the remaining oil. When it's hot, 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.
  7. Add a ladle-full of the hot stock and cook, stirring constantly, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Sorry, no photos from here on, because of the need for constant stirring.
  8. Add about 2/3 of the remaining stock, a ladle-full at a time, stirring constantly, and waiting until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next. The pan should be hot enough that the stock continues to simmer when it hits the pan, but isn't rapidly boiling. This should take about 20 minutes. 
  9. Stir in the pumpkin mixture, and stir for a few minutes until it thickens. 
  10. Continue adding the remaining stock, again a ladle-full at a time, again waiting until most of the liquid is absorbed, though it will be looser now. This should take approximately 5 minutes longer.
  11. Stir in the vegan butter and nutritional yeast. Serve immediately.

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