Friday, October 12, 2007

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Risotto

The Fall presents plenty of opportunity to create some wonderful gluten-free recipes during the time of Halloween and Thanksgiving. One of the stars of the season is pumpkin, which happens to be in-season just at the right time for these holidays. As such, the holidays bring with them an expectation (at least for me) of pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and pumpkin roll,... but now I also see other great uses for this healthy and versatile squash.

I recently wrote a gluten-free blog entry about one such recipe, a super-healthy gluten-free baked pumpkin recipe (the blog also discussed the potential health benefits of cinnamon too if you're interested). Further extending the reach of pumpkin into other gluten-free main-course and gluten free side-dish options today is a recipe that takes the baked pumpkin from earlier and uses it as a featured ingredient in a new dish my wife created:
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Risotto

That's a picture of the final product, sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon on top. It's not one of the better pictures I've taken, but I think it's good enough to get a feel for what to expect.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Risotto Recipe


  • 1 Cup Risotto (uncooked)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ¾ Cup Vegetable Broth
  • ¾ Cup Organic Whole Milk*
  • Cups Water
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt (optional)
  • ¼ to ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1 Cup (packed) Flesh from Cooked Pumpkin-Pie Pumpkin (i.e., approximately half of one small baked pumpkin-pie pumpkin)

*Note: Can substitute soy milk for the organic whole milk. Or, remove milk and increase vegetable broth to 1 Cup and water to 2 Cups. Risotto will not be as creamy with such substitutions.

  • Begin by baking the pumpkin pie pumpkin according to my prior blog (baked pumpkin recipe) and go as far as scraping out the cooked flesh into a bowl (once baked pumpkin is cool enough to safely handle). Once pumpkin flesh is ready for use, proceed.
  • In medium (2 Quart) sauce pan stir together Risotto and olive oil over medium-high heat. Continue to stir for approximately one minute.
  • Add remaining ingredients (this includes the pumpkin) and stir. Bring to boil and then cover. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes (Check after 20 minutes. If liquid has been absorbed and a creamy sauce remains, Risotto is done - if not, stir and continue to simmer until done.
  • Give the risotto a final stir prior to serving. Garnish (optionally) with Cinnamon as pictured.
That's the recipe, sweet and simple. It yields a risotto with a pleasant, mild accent flavor that just makes it stand out from plain risotto, as well as fit in as a perfect Halloween or Thanksgiving dinner addition. I have specifically targeted using fresh-cooked pumpkin from scratch as the pumpkin ingredient of choice. I don't know how the recipe would perform with canned pumpkin, but you could certainly try it.

Since I picked up 60 of these locally-grown pumpkin pie pumpkins (at the bargain-price of 3 for a dollar!) from farms near my parent's place here in Ohio, I've been busy cooking pumpkins quite regularly. 20 bucks worth of pumpkins filled nearly the entire trunk of my car. So, now I'm busily trying to get through 6 to 9 pumpkins a day - baking them, digging out the centers, and freezing the pumpkin flesh for future (off-season) gluten-free recipes use.

This works quite well by the way (freezing the flesh for later), as I tested it out before buying a pile of pumpkins. Simply place the cooked flesh in freezer bags or freezer containers, allow to cool to room temperature, then pre-chill in the refrigerator, and finally move them to the freezer for long-term storage. When ready to use, simply extract from the freezer, thaw the pumpkin flesh, and include in your recipes.

I have been working on additional pumpkin themed recipes, and I plan to add all these recipes to my online gluten-free recipes library as time permits (in addition to here on the Gluten Free Blog). Enjoy!


Dianne said...

Looks good Mike! In fact it looks very good! So good, I might get my 'brave hat' out agin, and try a risotto!


Dazy said...

I'm making this for dinner tonight. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!