When planning this dish, I intended to use pumpkin. Pumpkin is seasonal and nostalgic and people get overly excited for recipes that incorporate pumpkin this time of year. But, the problem with pumpkin is that it’s kind of meh. The texture is gag inducing and the flavor is benign. Even the best pumpkin needs a lot of primping to make it the star of the show. I mean, you absolutely can’t eat this stuff without sugar, cinnamon, cream, and butter- all at once.
Sorry, but it had to be said.
So, it occurred to me that sweet potato would be better in this dish. Sweet potatoes are creamy and naturally sweet with tons of flavor- and very healthy too! And you could likely pass them off as pumpkin in virtually any recipe and no one would notice.
Ingredients: (Makes 4 to 6 servings)
1 small shallot, minced
6 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups arborio rice
1 sweet potato, cooked
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
a pinch of cinnamon (for garnish)
grated parmesan (for garnish)
Directions: In a heavy saucepan, on medium high heat, cook the butter and minced shallot for two minutes, until fragrant.
Scoop out the insides of the cooked sweet potato and add to the shallot and butter mixture . Next pour in about half of the heavy cream. Stir until it forms sort of a paste.
Remove from heat. Scrape the sweet potato mixture into a separate bowl and set aside.
Next, add the olive oil to the same heavy saucepan and crank to medium high heat. Add the rice and whisk for about a minute. It’s ok if there are a few remaining bits of sweet potato in the pan.
Add in the vegetable stock, one cup at a time, until all the liquid is absorbed.
About halfway through, it should look something like this.
Halfway through adding the liquid, add in the sweet potato mixture and work it in. Add the remaining cream as well. Continue adding the veggie stock until all or most of it is absorbed.
When the rice is soft and creamy, it is ready to be served. Ladle into a serving bowl and garnish with salty shredded parmesan and a scant pinch of cinnamon.
Sweet potato beats pumpkin any day.
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