Pumpkin risotto with caramelized apples
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
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1 small Sugar Pie pumpkin
Salt and sugar, to taste
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cups Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
9 cups vegetable stock
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Fuji apple
Peel and deseed pumpkin. Chop into small pieces and put in a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and sugar and bake, covered, until tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly, then blend in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate.
In a large shallow pot, sauté onions in oil until tender and translucent. Add rice and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and cook over medium heat, stirring, until wine evaporates. Add stock, 1/2 cup at a time, waiting for it to evaporate before adding more. Make sure to stir constantly.
Once all stock is used (about 10 to 15 minutes), turn heat to low. Add pumpkin puree and keep stirring until rice is al dente, about 5 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese and adjust seasoning as necessary. Meanwhile, dice apple into 1/4-inch cubes. (If desired, toss in lemon juice to prevent oxidation/browning.) Bring a sauté pan up to a medium heat and sauté apple cubes until caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon risotto into bowls and top with apple.