Monday, October 24, 2011

meatless monday: creamy pumpkin and kale "risotto"

I love risotto and had some fantastic ones in Italy. The rice is always so creamy and luxurious, and it kind of melts in your mouth like pudding. But the act of making risotto sounds way too laborous since you have to constantly watch the pot, adding ladles of liquid every 10 minutes or so.

I came up with a quick fix! This "risotto" is creamy and decadent, but it uses cooked rice and only takes about 15 minutes. Plus, you can make this the night before a party and heat it up on the stove. Just add a bit of veggie stock and an extra tablespoon or so of mascarpone in order to thin out the mixture.

Creamy Pumpkin and Kale "Risotto"
(makes 3 entree portions or 6 side dishes)

2 cups cooked rice (I used medium grain rice, with a 2:1 water to rice ratio in a rice cooker)
1 medium brown onion, chopped
2 T chopped sage
1 T chopped thyme
1/4 tablespoon all spice
1/4 tablespoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tablespoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups kale
1 can pumpkin puree
1/4 cup mascarpone
1/4 cup parmesan + extra for garnish
Optional: veggie broth

Sautee onion sage and thyme in a tablespoon of oil over medium high heat until onions become translucent - approximately 6 minutes. Blend onion, thyme, and sage mixture into a chunky puree. Add back to pan and add in all spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, pepper, pumpkin puree, mascarpone, and 1/4 cup parmesan. Leave mixture on low heat, stirring every couple of minutes so it doesn't burn on the base of the pan.

In a separate pan, add 4 cups of kale and 1-2 tablespoons of water. Wilt kale - about 5-6 minutes.

Mix kale into rice mixture. Evaluate the mixture. Is it took thick for you? I prefer thicker risottos and was pleased with the texture. However, if you like a runnier risotto, add veggie stock  at 1/4 cup intervals. Mix the stock through until you get to your right texture.

Serve garnished with grated parmesan.

(onion, sage, and thyme blended into a chunky puree)


  1. This looks so good! I am so impressed with all your food purees, I don't have a food processor at my apartment so I can't experiment, but I want to buy one soon! Have you cooked with kale a lot? I want to try to incorporate it into my meals since I don't know much about it :)

    1. Thanks!! I love cooking with kale. It can be as simple as incorporating it into a quick pasta dish with tagliatelle, sausage, scratch tomato sauce, and kale. Or making kale chips. I've also been dying to make a butternut squash, bacon, kale, and goat cheese pizza!