If it isn’t apparent yet, I am all-in on the fall-inspired dishes right now. Apples, squash, pumpkin anything…I am all about it. All of it. I love the shift into comfort food at the start of Autumn and I know that my body is craving it for a reason. Ask and you shall receive hungry tummy! What better way to combine Autumn flavors and produce with comfort food, than a delicious creamy pumpkin risotto.
I had been dreaming of a pumpkin risotto for a few weeks now and even had a few readers request a recipe, but instead of a traditional risotto like this one or this one, I wanted something that wasn’t quite so labor intensive. I never mind standing over the pot, spooning the broth or stock in, one ladle-full at a time, it is always worth it, but I wanted to see if I could create a simpler method for those days that you don’t have the extra time to dedicate an hour of your life to just one pot of food. In comes the magical Crock-Pot, the closest thing I will ever have to a personal chef!
This risotto is creamy, rich and comforting without any dairy at all. It’s quite unbelievable that this is not only gluten-free, but it is also vegan. The roast pumpkin and the pumpkin puree and not only provide a beautiful rich autumn-inspired hue to the dish, but a delicious hearty flavor. If you aren’t vegan and/or dairy-free this would also be quite delicious with a good chicken stock and some Parmigiano-Reggiano at the end, though I can say with confidence neither are needed or missed. The key to a creamy risotto is opting for arborio rice rather than the trational long grain.
[print_this]Creamy Crock-Pot Pumpkin Risotto – Gluten-free + Vegan
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 leek, cleaned, halved the long way then thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, split in half.
- 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small pie pumpkin, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- salt and pepper
Optional – 1/2 to 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese — preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and sauté the leeks, onions and red bell pepper until they have softened up a bit, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two, then add all of the veggies to the crock-pot. Next pour the wine into the pan that the veggies were cooked in and scrape up any leftover bits in the pan, then add in the rice, stir around and cook until all of the wine has been absorbed. Add the rice to the slow cooker along with the broth, salt and half of the fresh thyme. Cover and cook on HIGH for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until all the liquid is absorbed.
While the risotto is cooking roast the pumpkin. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Toss the pumpkin cubes with olive oil and a little salt, and roast for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned and tender. Stirring after 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Just before serving, stir in the pumpkin puree, roasted pumpkin and the remaining thyme. If you are adding cheese, add it now. Stir it all together, cover and let sit for another 3-5 minutes, then serve.[/print_this]