This miso pumpkin risotto is a rich, creamy, and savory fall delight. It’s the best warm, cozy, and comforting dish to make on a chilly fall night.
Risotto is one of those dishes I totally love, but rarely attempt at home. Visions of constant stirring over a hot stove seem to deter me. But once you’re there, making risotto is so much easier than your mind tells you!
What is risotto?
Risotto is a traditional northern Italian dish made of rice cooked in broth until it is thick and creamy. Common risotto ingredients include butter, garlic, onions, and parmesan cheese. Risotto has a delicious creamy consistency, with lots of rich and savory flavor.
When preparing risotto, the goal is to coax out the starches from the rice as it cooks. These starches are what make risotto so luxuriously thick and creamy. Also, the perfect risotto rice maintains an “al dente” texture when it’s ready to eat.
What’s in miso pumpkin risotto?
You’ll find some traditional risotto ingredients in this recipe, plus some unique ones that add a delicious (vegan) twist!
Arborio rice: This is a short-grain, high starch rice variety. This type of rice is best for risotto because it releases a lot of starch as it cooks, lending to thickening the sauce and making it extra creamy. You could also use carnaroli rice. Avoid using long grain rice varieties, as they do not provide enough starch.
Vegetable broth: You’ll cook the rice in vegetable broth, one cup at a time.
Dry white wine: This is a traditional risotto ingredient, which lends a bit of acidity to the risotto. I used chardonnay, but use whatever dry white wine you like or have on hand.
Pumpkin puree: Mixed in with the vegetable broth, pumpkin puree adds subtle pumpkin flavor and beautiful orange color to the risotto.
Yellow miso paste: A characteristic flavor profile of risotto is umami, or savory. Parmesan cheese usually adds an umami flavor punch to risotto. To keep it vegan, we are using yellow miso paste!
Thyme and sage: These herbs taste great in savory fall dishes, and compliment the pumpkin flavor well.
How to make miso pumpkin risotto
Heat up broth in a saucepan with pumpkin, nutmeg, and half the miso paste. Warm broth helps coax out the rice starches better than cold broth when adding it to the risotto.
Cook the onion, garlic, and thyme in a heated pot. Let the onions soften, then add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant.
Add the rice to the pot with the aromatics. Mix the rice around so the grains are coated in the cooking fats.
Add white wine, and cook, stirring frequently until it is almost dissolved. Then, add one cup of warm broth to the rice. Continue to frequently stir the rice to release the starches.
When the broth is almost fully absorbed, add another cup of broth and keep stirring. Repeat until all the broth is gone.
At this point, the rice should be fully cooked to an al dente texture. If it’s still too chewy, add a cup of warm water, keep stirring, and repeat until the rice is cooked.
Finally, stir in the rest of the miso paste, balsamic vinegar, and sage. Finished risotto will be thick enough to stick to the mixing spoon, and won’t spread out when you plate it.
Tips for making this recipe perfectly
Set your mise en place before you begin cooking. Risotto is a hands-on dish, so it’s incredibly helpful to have everything you need chopped, measured, and lined up to be used.
Cook the risotto in a pot with deep sides. This allows you to stir the risotto and add broth without worrying if your pot will overflow or spill over. I used this dutch oven and it worked perfectly.
Be patient and have fun! Risotto takes about 25 minutes to cook, and you’ll be stirring it frequently. Get in the zone and be patient as you add each cup of broth. It’s actually kind of therapeutic, and it’s cool to see the risotto magically appear before your eyes as you stir 🙂
Heat the broth in a saucepan with pumpkin puree, nutmeg, and 1 tbsp miso paste. Mix everything together. Keep the broth over low heat while you cook the risotto to keep it warm.
Heat the olive oil and vegan butter over medium heat in a deep pot over medium heat. Add the onion, cooking until translucent, about 2 minutes. Mix in the garlic and thyme, cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Pour the rice into the pot. Mix it to coat each grain in the cooking fats.
Add the white wine to the pot.
Stir frequently until the white wine is almost all gone, then add 1 cup of broth.
Stir the rice in the broth frequently until the broth is almost all absorbed.
Repeat with another cup of broth, and continue to stir the rice to release the starches.
Repeat the process of adding 1 cup of broth and stirring the rice until you’ve used up all the broth.
Add the remaining miso paste, sage, and balsamic vinegar. Continue to stir until the risotto is thick, sticks to the spoon, and can maintain its shape and not spread out when plated.
Risotto is best enjoyed immediately, so make this recipe right when you want to eat it.
Keywords: pumpkin risotto, vegan, gluten free
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