Pumpkin Risotto with red onion, rosemary & white truffle butter. Photo by Equalizer.
Autumn, a season in which most people associate it with blue. the end of the summer and the end of good times. In fact, such blues are mostly common in areas of the world where sunshine days begins to dwindle down to grayish gloomy days. Scientifically, good mood is accentuated with sunshine, so it is logical to assume that the reduction of such sunshine can only lead to withdrawal.
I rarely got to experience Autumn or Fall as they call it in North America, because I live in a warm sunny country like Kuwait. Autumn is a metamorphosis between summer and winter, and could only be experienced over a prolonged period of time. In colder climates of the deep north and south, you would witness the changing colors of a variety of trees to deep and light tones of orange, red, yellow and brown. Then the leaves begin to fall, leaving it bare and cold. In warm countries you can only feel the weather cooling down, but cannot witness it as nothing else changes.
I felt like reliving those days when I witnessed the whole autumn season with all its changes and festivities like Halloween. Halloween is an ancient pagan harvest festival mostly associated with pumpkins. I though of having a simple hearty autumn dish with pumpkins. Pumpkin Risotto.
Unlike other rice dishes, risottos are pretty tricky. The key to a perfect risotto is to prefry the rice with butter and oil prior to cooking. This will allow the rice to holds its shape while cooking in the broth. Another key is to add the broth ladle by ladle as you need to constantly stir while it absorbs the water. What happens is that while stirring with just enough water, there would be increased friction that forces the rice to release starch that would in turn make the risotto creamy.
2 cups arborio rice (never use any other variety like basmati)
1 cup finely chopped pumpkins
1/2 chopped red onion
1 sprig rosemary
3 cups chicken broth (extra if needed)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs white truffle butter
1 tsp truffle oil
Fresh cracked black pepper
Heat butter on medium high heat. Add onion and fry until translucent. Add pumpkin and rice and fry until rice is semi translucent. Add chicken broth and constantly stir. Keep adding and stirring. Add more broth once the broth is absorbed by the rice. Keep adding broth in a timely fashion until the risotto is nice and creamy, preferably "al dente" which means its hard from the inside. Once you reach the consistency you want add the Parmesan, salt to taste, black pepper, truffle butter and oil. Mix well and serve immediately to ensure that the risotto remains creamy.