Thursday, November 7, 2013

Maple Bacon Pumpkin Risotto

Sorry if you don't like pumpkin because I've got another one for ya!  This one, however, is a savory pumpkin dish that is every bit delicious as just about any pumpkin dessert.

I started making risotto years ago and I just love it.  Although it seems like a fancy and potentially difficult dish, I attest to you, it is not...although you could make it so (mmm brown butter lobster risotto!!). 

This risotto uses simple ingredients (doesn't everyone use pumpkin on a daily basis in the fall?) that when combined, burst with flavor in your mouth!!  Top that with some crispy bacon and you'll be licking the bowl clean.

Maple Bacon Pumpkin Risotto
1/2 lb. bacon
2 cups apple cider
2 cups veggie broth
1 cup water
1  1/2 cups leeks, sliced and rinsed
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups arborio rice (or other short-grain rice)
1 cup white cooking wine
1/4 tsp. fresh nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
few cracks of ground pepper
1 cup pumpkin puree
1-2 tsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
fresh herbs for garnish

Place bacon on baking sheet and cook under broiler 5 minutes.  Flip and bake cook another 4-5 minutes.  Remove from pan to a paper towel-lined plate.

In a medium saucepan, combine apple cider, veggie broth and water.  Heat until warm and keep over very low heat.

In a large saucepan, drizzle about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add leeks and cook over medium-high heat until tender.  Add garlic, saute about 30 seconds, then add the rice and saute another 30 seconds or so.  Add the wine and cook until almost evaporated.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add about 1/2 cup of the warm broth mixture, stir in and let cook until just about evaporated, stirring occasionally.  Continue until rice is al dente and most or all of the broth mixture is gone (you may not need all of it; if you need more, just add a little warm water)/  This will take about 25-30 minutes.

When rice is finished cooking, add the nutmeg, salt, pepper, pumpkin, maple syrup, butter and parmesan cheese.  Stir to combine well.  Taste to check for seasoning and adjust as necessary.  Garnish with fresh herbs and crumbled bacon.  Serve warm.

SOURCE: Adapted from Pineapple & Coconut

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