Pumpkin adds harvest sweetness to a savory risotto, and garlicky spinach, served alongside, provides an interesting contrast in taste and texture, perfect for a festive autumn meal.
Two colorful and delicious fall side-dish recipes, right here:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 leeks, white parts only, sliced thin
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
7 to 8 cups vegetable stock, hot
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or dry jack
2 large bunches (about 1 pound each) of fresh spinach
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small heavy skillet over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the leeks, lower the heat, and cook the leeks until they are tender and completely wilted, 6 to 8 minutes. Set the leeks aside.
2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until it is soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add the rice, and stir with a wooden spoon until each grain begins to turn milky white, about 2 minutes. Keeping the stock hot over low heat, add the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until nearly all the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add the stock and stir until the rice is tender but not mushy, a total of 18 to 20 minutes. Before the final addition of stock, stir in the reserved leeks, the pumpkin puree, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice.
3. Working quickly, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet or wok over medium heat, add the garlic, and saute for 2 minutes.
4. When the rice is cooked, stir in the cheese. Add the spinach to the sautéed garlic and cook, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the spinach is just wilted. Taste the risotto and season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Transfer the risotto to a serving platter or individual plates. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the spinach, toss the spinach to coat it with the olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, and serve it alongside the risotto.
Serves 6 to 8.