For this flavour-intensive main dish, I used a local Heirloom Pumpkin, brought over from the neighbor’s garden.
I made fresh vegetable stock, too! Find the full recipe link at the bottom.
The entire meal was labour-intensive because everything needs separate prepping, but the result was well worth it! In the future, I will increase the ingredients by half so that the effort provides leftovers; the recipe makes enough for four, but with only one serving. I baked garlic bread so that the meal would feel more complete and amply satisfying.
The pumpkin took a while to prepare: first to cut and de-seed, then cube into bite-size chunks. The danger is having an inappropriate knife or one that lacks adequate sharpness; that’s a recipe for injury. I wasn’t in a hurry, so I took my time and enjoyed the process. I roasted the seeds with turmeric, cumin seeds, and s&p. Tossing the pumpkin with EVOO and s&p, I then roasted the chunks separately. After the gourd cooled, it was quick work to cut the peel off and then toss it in with the mushroom and cauliflower rice, AKA, risotto.
I created the broth the same way I make my Savory Prep for other dishes, by sauteing onion, celery, garlic, and carrots, with spices in some type of fat (most of the time, I use ghee — if I have it — or butter or EVOO); I was out of carrots and used leftover bacon grease for the fat this time. Once the veggies softened, I pop the spices in the center of the pan. I thought the seasoning in the recipe would combine well with whole coriander, whole black mustard seed, and s&p, so I popped those. I added water, then reduced the broth by simmer, and finished that part by pureeing half of it. When I sauteed the mushrooms, I left them whole cut them after they cooled; they finished cooking in the risotto mixture.
The cauliflower rice was fun and easy! I trimmed and chopped the ‘flower, then riced it in the food processer. I then sauteed the “rice” with the remaining bacon grease for a few minutes. The texture turns out to be akin to firm rice! And tasty! After the ‘flower was a little crispy but not browned, I poured in the broth and continued to cook until the “rice” absorbed all the liquid. Adding the mushrooms and squash was almost the final step, as I folded them in gently. Finally, I folded in the whipping cream and 3/4 of the cheese, saving the rest for garnish. While this was finishing in the skillet, I popped some sourdough under the broiler, after drowning it in ghee and dusting with garlic powder.
Filling the soup bowls, I topped the risotto with a bit of thin-sliced Parmesan and Asiago, sprinkled pepitas (the roasted pumpkin seeds) over that, and added a splash of color with parsley sprigs. I dunked the big chunk of steaming hot garlic bread in the bowl, and voila! Deliciousness in a bowl, sans the carbs!
... is a former Chef who cooked aboard private sailing yachts in the Caribbean, Europe, and Central America!