Vegan Baked Risotto with Kabocha + Crispy Bread Crumbs

The weather has been absolutely phenomenal in New England (except for Hurricane Sandy creeping up next week, help!) and fall has been everything that you would expect; air is crisp, home feels cozy, cinnamon has made a come-back, full colors outside, and cooking has never been more fun.  Halloween, a very popular holiday in the States, is also just around the corner and what a perfect time to cook with none other than…pumpkin!  There’s been a lot of talk about costumes, pumpkin carving contests, last-minute shopping to buy candy for the trick-o-treaters (we bought 400 pieces the other day!), and so much black and orange everywhere-even on this blog post!  Yup, if months had to be associated with color, October would definitely be orange.   My friend sent me an interesting piece the other day about the psychological impact of color, and this is what it had to say about orange:

Most “edible” color, especially in brown-tinged shades; evokes autumn and good things to eat.

So true! So we adapted a recipe from Yvette Van Boven’s new Homemade Winter book, to continually evoke autumn and to make a good thing : )  What we really like about this recipe is that it only takes 25 minutes to bake, opposed to the 1 1/2-2 hours when you make risotto the traditional way.  Also, if you’re not vegan, adding Gruyère cheese would be highly recommended (add the cheese in step 3 with the kabocha).  Happy October!

*Adapted from Yvette Van Boven, Homemade Winter*

2 orange Kabocha squash, diced into even sizes
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, diced
2 clove garlic, sliced
1/2 cup white wine
Dash of salt, pepper, and rosemary
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups vegetable broth
3 slices white or wheat bread

1.  Preheat oven to 350º F.
2.  Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet and add onion and saute for about 5 minutes, garlic for 1 min, and then add the rice and saute for another 2 minutes.
3.  Add white wine and pour in broth.  Once it  starts simmering, add the kabocha, salt, pepper, rosemary, and bring it to a boil.
4.  Put a lid on the skillet and bake risotto for 25 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
5.  In the meantime, grind the dry bread in a food processor or mince with a knife.
6.  Uncover the skillet about 5 minutes before the risotto is done and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top.
7.  Bake, uncovered, until browned.

Here are foliage pictures we wanted to share with you
so you can get a glimpse of New England beauty!

Have a great weekend!


3 thoughts on “Vegan Baked Risotto with Kabocha + Crispy Bread Crumbs

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