When in St. Louis, Eat Ethiopian Food? Part 2

One of my favorite Ethiopian restaurants is Shagga in Hyattsville, MD. But, now that I know how easy it is to create these dishes myself, I think I might be able to satisfy the craving for these wonderful spices and flavors at home. Here is the run-down on what we prepared and the details about how to do it yourself.

Sautéed Cabbage and Carrots with Turmeric (from Food and Wine Magazine)

What You Need

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium red onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
  • Salt
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 1 pound carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
  • 5 pounds green cabbage, cored and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

What You Do

  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and turmeric and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are fragrant and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots to the casserole along with 1/2 cup of water and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the carrots are just starting to soften, 7 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cabbage in large handfuls, letting each batch wilt slightly before adding more.
  6. When all of the cabbage has been added, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, 40 to 45 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and serve.

Spiced Red Lentils (from Food and Wine Magazine)

What You Need

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium red onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons berbere, plus more for sprinkling (See previous post)
  • 2 teaspoons nigella seeds, finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups red lentils (1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree (we had it leftover-and I thought it might add some nice flavor)

What You Do

  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until they are softened and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, berbere, nigella seeds, cardamom and a generous pinch each of salt and black pepper and cook until fragrant and deeply colored, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the red lentils with 8 cups of water to the casserole and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have cooked downand thickened, 25 minutes.
  6. Stir in butternut squash puree.
  7. Season the lentils with salt and pepper.
  8. Ladle the lentils into bowls, sprinkle with berbere and serve.

Timatim Salad (from the Berbere Diaries)

What You Need

  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. berbere (see previous post)
  • 3-4 large tomatoes
  • 1/2- 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, chopped and if desired, de-seeded for less heat
  • 2 pieces Injera, torn into bite-size pieces

What You Do

  1. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chopped vegetables and Injera
  2. Serve chilled.

And for next time, I will try my own Injera. I am so happy to now know the secret of this amazing bread- cooked like a pancake! Teff flour is an ancient grain that is gluten-free and provides calcium, iron and protein. So, now I don’t have to feel so guilty when I fill up on it during the meal.

Injera (from Food and Wine Magazine)

What You Need

  • 4 cups teff flour (about 5 ounces)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

What You Do

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the teff flour with the water until a smooth batter forms.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature overnight; the batter will be slightly foamy.
  3. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat.
  4. Whisk the salt into the batter.
  5. Ladle 3/4 cup of the batter into the skillet; swirl to coat the bottom with batter.
  6. Cook over moderately high heat until the injera just starts to bubble, about 30 seconds.
  7. Cover the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds longer, until the injera is cooked through and the surface is slightly glossy.
  8. Invert the skillet onto a work surface, letting the injera fall from the pan.
  9. Repeat with the remaining batter.

This meal will feed an army! We had so much leftover. If you are just feeding four, I suggest cutting all the recipes in half (excluding the Injera!). Or, if you are like me – enjoy the leftovers for lunch and dinner for days.

When in St. Louis, Eat Ethiopian Food? Part 1

My sister and I love Ethiopian food. So, when my sister moved to St. Louis, we worried she’d have to go without the delightful dishes until her visits with me in D.C. This weekend, as Frankenstorm Sandy neared the East Coast, I left to visit my sister in her new city, hang with her new politically active puppy, Aidan (shown below), and check out the food-scene in St. Louis.

Before boarding my flight, I picked up a copy of this month’s Food and Wine Magazine. While the front featured the expected Thanksgiving ideas, I found the most amazing surprise: A Lesson in Ethiopian Flavors. The feature included not only some of our favorite vegetarian dishes, but also the characteristic Ethiopian Injera Bread. Amazing!

We were able to successfully make a number of great dishes including sauteed cabbage and carrots, spiced red lentils, and timatim salad. We also prepared some sweet collard greens with balsamic, maple syrup, and dates (not Ethiopian flavors, but very yummy). Unfortunately, when we went to the market, we picked up teff grain instead of teff flour and could not prepare the Injera. So, instead, we resolved to try Injera another day and purchased it from my sister’s nearby Ethiopian restaurants (yes, they are there in St. Louis!).

The first step was to buy the ingredients and prepare berbere, a spice commonly used in Ethiopian dishes. While we didn’t find the spice mixture in the store, we found some great recipes and instructions online.

Berbere (from kadirecipes.com)

What You Need

  • 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds
  • 6 dried chilies (I only used 3, because I can’t handle the heat)
  • ½ cup paprika
  • 2 tsp ground ginger (I used fresh)
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 and ½  tbsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

What You Do

  1. Combine all ingredients together in a blender.
  2. Mix!!
  3. Store in a jar in the fridge, the recipe makes approximately one cup.

Stay tuned for more recipes from the wonderful evening, as I continue my extended trip here in St. Louis. All flights have been canceled back to BWI, so I will be here through Thursday at the earliest.

Stay safe, dry and warm to all those effected by Sandy.

Bacon and Leek Risotto

Ready for spring?  I am.  The new Bon Appetit is getting me so excited for spring vegetables.  Here is the first recipe from this month’s issue I tried and it is out of this world.  I don’t eat much meat anymore, so this was a special treat with some bacon from the Takoma Park Farmer’s Market.

Please, please try this.  I am strongly considering changing my blog to cover risotto exclusively because of how much I love making it! I’m sad I didn’t take any pictures of this meal.  But, I guess that means I will have to make it again soon to share them with you. Also, this was our first meal of the season that we enjoyed in the backyard with a fire keeping us warm. Amazing.

Bacon and Leek Risotto (from Bon Appetit)

What You Need

– 6 large eggs
– 5 cups vegetable broth (recipe calls for chicken stock)
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
– 2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 large–which is a bit more than 2 cups but don’t worry, use it all)
– 1 1/2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice (about 10 ounces)
– 3/4 cup dry white wine
– 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (from our containers here at home)
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese (I used more, closer to 4)
– Fresh Italian parsley leaves (for garnish)
– Additional finely grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

What You Do

  1. Bring broth to simmer in medium saucepan; cover to keep warm.
  2. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add bacon and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally.
  4. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
  5. Add leeks to drippings in pan; cook until soft but not brown, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer 2 generous tablespoonfuls leeks to small bowl; reserve for garnish.
  7. Add rice to pan; stir 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Add wine; stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  9. Add 1/2 cup warm broth to saucepan; stir until broth is absorbed. Repeat adding broth and stirring until rice is tender but still firm to bite and sauce is creamy, stirring almost constantly, about 23 minutes total.
  10. Add bacon, chopped parsley, butter, and 2 tablespoons cheese.
  11. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  12. Meanwhile, poach eggs.
  13. Divide risotto among 6 bowls. Top risotto in each bowl with poached egg. Sprinkle egg with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley leaves, additional cheese, and reserved leeks.

This recipe was wonderful and perfect for celebrating the beginning of spring.

An Exercise in Domesticity: Truly Homemade Lasagna

For Valentine’s Day Weekend, my roommate and I hosted a romantic evening to celebrate love, food, friendship, and domesticity. My mom’s response to this activity was that I’m a foodie fanatic or her words may have been that I am a “lunatic”. My roommate says that at least I’m a “happy, well fed lunatic”. Either way, this was one of my favorite meals in a long time and gave me a lot of pleasure.

We prepared all the ingredients for the lasagna from scratch including the following: ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, lasagna noodles, and pasta sauce. We also sauteed spinach in olive oil and garlic and used that as well. As you can see, most of the components of this lasagna have already been posted to the blog. The glory of this meal was putting all the pieces together.

Basic Vegetarian Lasagna (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

What You Need
– 1 pound lasagna noodles
– 1 pound mozzarella
– 2 cups ricotta cheese
– 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
– 32 ounces whole tomatoes (we used the ones my roommate and her family canned from their farm this summer, the can includes a handful of basil leaves)
– 4 tablespoon olive oil
– 6 cloves garlic, crushed
– Salt and pepper to taste
– “A couple glugs red one”
– Several cups baby spinach

What You Do
1. Prepare the ricotta cheese, if making at home.
2. While you are waiting for the ricotta, prepare the mozzarella, if making at home.
3. Prepare the noodles, if making at home.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sized pot.
5. Add 4 cloves garlic and allow to heat on medium (2 minutes) Do not burn.
6. Add can of tomatoes, basil, “glugs of wine” (which means just a couple little pours from the bottle), and a little salt and pepper.
7. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and allow sauce to simmer which you finish getting everything else prepared (minimum of 10 minutes).
8. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add in the last 2 cloves garlic to a mid-sized pan.
9. Saute spinach.
10. Add spinach to the ricotta cheese.
11. Assemble the lasagna in the following order: sauce, noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, noodles, sauce, sliced mozzarella.
12. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
13. Put lasagna into a preheated oven at 375 degrees.
14. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
15. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Excellent and worth trying. The whole process took us 3 hours total from start to finish (which includes 1 hour of waiting for ricotta and 35-45 minutes waiting for the lasagna to bake). We were able to pass the time listening to music, snacking on bread with olive oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar, and enjoying some wine.

Another Take on Risotto: Pie?

I’ve mentioned this before but it would be possible for me to rename this blog “Risotto Heaven” or “Risotto Fanatic” with the amount of time I dedicate to risotto recipes. But, I love it. Here is another one that was a huge hit at my birthday potluck dinner on Feb 4th. The recipe is a bit complicated because of its various components and dealing with filo dough (which I’ve only done once before for spinach pie). I made the huge mistake of forgetting to take the filo dough out of the freezer to allow it to thaw properly. This led to a frenzy when it was time to put all the pieces of the pie together. Without a microwave, I stuck the frozen dough into a warm oven and allowed it to warm up. It turned out wonderfully even with the chaos and I was left with only one piece by the end of the night. But, please, do not forget to defrost the filo dough!

Filo Risotto Pie (from Essential Vegetarian Cookbook)

What You Need
– 2 large red peppers
– 1 cup white wine
– 4 cups vegetable stock
– 2 tablespoons oil
– 4 cloves garlic, crushed
– 1 leek, sliced
– 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
– 2 cups arborio rice
– 2 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
– 10 sheets filo pastry (thawed)
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1 lb spinach (recipe says to blanch this, I sauteed it with olive oil very quickly instead)
– 8 oz feta cheese
– 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

What You Do
1. Cut the peppers in half lengthways and remove seeds. Cut into quarters.
2. Roast the peppers until skin blackens and blisters.
3. Put roasted peppers in a paper bag or cover with a towel and allow to cool.
4. Peel the peppers and cut into smaller pieces.
5. Begin making the risotto by warming up the vegetable broth.
6. Heat oil and garlic in a large-heavy based pan.
7. Add fennel and leek and cook over medium heat until lightly browned (5 minutes).
8. Add rice and stir for three minutes.
9. Add wine and stir until evaporated.
10. Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth to risotto at a time, stirring constantly until all the stock has been used. This will take 40 minutes.
11. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. (Note: I prepared the risotto and peppers the night before and then started again the next day at #12)
12. Brush each sheet of filo with olive oil and fold in half lengthways.
13. Arrange like overlapping spokes on a wheel in a 9 inch springform pan with one side of pastry hanging over the side of tin. (This was not graceful for me because of my filo mess described above– but don’t worry too much about it)
14. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
15. Spoon half the risotto over the pastry and top with half the red peppers, half the spinach, and half the feta cheese.
16. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
17. Fold pastry over the filling and brush lightly with oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
18. Bake for 50 minutes or until pastry is crisp and golden and pie is heated through.

Yum! This was my first time cooking with a springform pan and it was very fun. Next use for the springform: cheesecake.

Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash

It is chili season. As you might be able to tell, I just got a new month of Bon Appetit magazine. When I saw the recipe for black bean chili with butternut squash, I was immediately intrigued but then got nervous as I was cooking. What would it taste like? What exactly is bulgur? Why bother with a vegetarian chili?

But– there was no need to worry! Dinner with my roommate this evening was as close to silent as we get (for those of you who know us, we are very talkative). Our chatter was replaced with lots of “mmmm” “yum” “great flavor” and “mmmm” (repeat). This is a very healthy chili but has a wonderful flavor. I cut the recipe in half, but feel free to double it if you are cooking for a large group.

Vegetarian Chili (adapted from Bon Appetit)

What You Need

– 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 yellow onion, chopped
– 1/2 red onion, chopped
– 5 garlic cloves, chopped
– 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
– 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
– 1 14.5-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes (I just used a normal can of whole tomatoes)
– 1/2 pound dried black beans, rinsed
– 2 chipotle chiles from canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
– Coarse kosher salt to taste
– 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1.5 cups) (any winter squash will do)
– 1/2 cup quick-cooking bulgur (this was my first time using it!)
– Sour cream
– Coarsely grated hot pepper Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
-Diced red onion
– Chopped fresh cilantro
– Pickled jalapeño rings

What You Do

1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes.
3. Add garlic; stir 1 minute.
4. Sprinkle chili powder and coriander over; stir 1 minute.
5. Stir in tomatoes with juice, beans, chipotles, and oregano. (Note: we started cooking the beans about 1.5 hours before. I added in the nearly finished beans with the water they were cooking in at this point).
6. Add 3 cups water (if you are adding uncooked beans, add 5 cups water).
7. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours (time will vary depending on freshness of beans– since ours were almost finished, I let it cook for 30 minutes more).
8. Season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
9. Stir squash and bulgur into chili.
10. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until squash and bulgur are tender, about 40 minutes (recipe said 30 but the squash wasn’t ready yet).
11. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
12. Divide chili among bowls.

Serve with sour cream, cheese, red onion, cilantro, and pickled jalapeño rings. Enjoy with plenty of “mmm” “yum” “great flavor” “mmmm”.

Family Dinner: Pasta Made at Home

A couple weeks ago, my friend contacted me with an invitation to a family style potluck dinner. We have had many of these dinners before. But this time, he told me we were making homemade pasta. I grabbed my roommate and our pasta maker and arrived to his house early to have fun. I never made my own pasta before so this was a learning experience for me. It was fabulous. We made four batches of pasta on two different pasta makers. We hung the pasta to dry on clothing hangers on my friend’s bicycle which rests of the ceiling of the apartment living room.

Take a look at the beautiful photos and try this yourself at home:

Fresh Pasta (adapted from Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Traditional Egg Pasta Dough)

What You Need (this makes about one pound of pasta)
– 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
– 1 tsp salt
– 3 eggs
– A few drops of water, if needed

What You Do
1. To make the dough by hand, mound the flour on a smooth counter top, or place in a bowl.
2. Make a well in the center and add salt.
3. Then, break in an egg, beating with a fork and incorporating a little of the flour.
4. Beat in another egg and repeat, until all the flour is mixed with the eggs.
5. Gather the mixture into a ball.
6. Place the dough on a dry, lightly floured work surface and knead until it is smooth(add a couple drops of water if it is dry and grainy).
7. Cover with plastic and let refrigerate for 30 minutes.
8. Divide the dough into four pieces and be prepared to work with one piece at a time.
9. Clamp the pasta rolling machine to the counter and sprinkle a nearby surface with flour.
10. Roll the dough lightly in the flour and flatten it with your hands.
11. Set the machine to 1 and crank the dough through. (Dust with flour if it sticks).
12. Set the machine to 2 and pass the flattened dough through again. Repeat, setting the machine to a higher number each time until you get to 6.
13. Let the pasta rest and move on to another piece of dough.
14. When you are ready, pass the flattened dough through the appropriate cutting blade (in our case, it was fettuccine).
15. Separate the strands and let them hang dry (see our hangers).
16. Add pasta to bowling water and let cook until floating in pot or cooked to your taste (this is going to be less than 5 minutes– most likely 3 minutes).

We made four different sauces to eat with our pasta. It was amazing.

Peanut Noodles

Warm peanut noodles! It is one of my favorite appetizers at a Chinese restaurant I go to with my family up in New Jersey. I’ve tried to make it at home before and it was terrible. My roommate made a great one and told me the secret: adding in hot water to get the sauce just right! I’ve finally made it myself based on Bittman’s recipe.

Peanut Noodles (adapted from Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)

What You Need
– 12 ounces long Asian noodles (I used pad Thai noodles) or fresh Chinese egg noodles
– 2 tablespoons sesame oil
– 1/2 cup peanut butter
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– 3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
– 1 teaspoon minced ginger, optional
– 1 tablespoon rice or wine vinegar
– Hot sesame oil or Tabasco sauce to taste
– 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more
– 1/2 cup hot water
– At least 1/2 cup minced scallions for garnish

What You Do
1. Depending on the noodles you are using, follow the directions on the package. But, usually: soak for 30 minutes.
2. Drain noodles.
3. Add boiling water and let soak for 5 minutes.
4. While noodles are cooking, whisk together sesame oil and paste, sugar, soy, ginger, vinegar, hot oil and pepper in a large bowl.
5. Thin sauce with hot water, so that it is about the consistency of heavy cream; you will need 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
6. When noodles are done, drain.
7. Toss noodles and sauce (there are other things you can add here like chicken, tofu, or cucumbers- be creative).
8. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary (the dish may need salt), then garnish and serve.

This dish is good cold, warm, or even hot!

Beet Risotto

It’s possible that I should change the title of the blog to something related to risotto because I’ve posted so many risotto recipes. But here is another great one! Beets! I found the recipe in one of my Food and Wine cookbooks and cut it in half (the original recipe called for 3 cups arborio rice, too much for me!).

Beet Risotto (adapted from Food and Wine)

What You Need
– 3-4 cups vegetable stock
– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
– 2 beets , peeled and coarsely shredded, plus thinly sliced beets for garnish
– 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
– 1/2 cup white wine
– 3/4 cup young pecorino cheese, freshly grated (I used parmesan)
– 2 teaspoons poppy seeds, plus more for garnish (I didn’t have any, but I think it would be nice looking with them)

What You Do
1.In a saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer; cover and keep warm.
2. In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter.
3. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes.
4. Add the shredded beets and cook, stirring, until the pan is dry, 12 minutes.
5. Spoon half of the beets into a small bowl.
6. Add the rice to the casserole and stir.
7. Add white wine and cook, stirring until wine is gone (2 minutes).
8. Add 1 cup of the warm stock to the rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the stock is nearly absorbed.
9. Continue adding the stock 1 (or half) cup at a time, stirring constantly, until the rice is al dente and a thick sauce forms, 22 minutes.
10. Stir in the cooked beets, cheese and the 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds (if you have them).
11. Cook, stirring, until heated through; add a few tablespoons of water if the risotto is too thick.
12. Spoon the risotto into bowls. Garnish with sliced beets and poppy seeds and serve.

Crazy color! But delicious.

Pumpkin Risotto

Not like I need another thing to love about Thanksgiving, but in addition to all the glory that is the Thanksgiving holiday, my mother also sends me home with plenty of food. Not just leftovers, but also extra ingredients. This year, like all others, I made out like a bandit: brown sugar, stuffed grape leaves, cheese, pie, and pumpkins! A whole pumpkin and also a container of pumpkin puree. I was excited to try uses for my pumpkins and thought of pumpkin risotto and -wow- it is amazing!

Pumpkin Risotto with Roasted Vegetables (adapted from Straight from the Farm)

What You Need

– 3-4 cups vegetable stock (you can also use chicken stock)
– 3 tablespoons butter
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 1 1/2 cup aborrio rice
– 1/2 cup white wine
– 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
– 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
– 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
– 2 cups roasted vegetables (I used a combination of sweet potato, carrots, and orange cauliflower sprinkled with olive oil and salt and roasted at 400 degrees for 25 minutes)
– 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
– 2 tablespoons heavy cream
– freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

What You Do

1. If you need to, first prepare your pumpkin puree (see here: The Pioneer Woman)
2. Cut up your vegetables and toss with olive oil and some salt.
3. Put vegetables in a pre-heated 400 degree oven and roast for 25 minutes.
4. While the vegetables are roasting, begin to work on the risotto.
5. Put the vegetable stock in a medium saucepan over low heat to come to a simmer.
6. Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat.
7. When it is melted, add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.
8. Add the rice and stir for about two minutes so it can absorb the butter and toast a bit.
9. Add the wine and let everything simmer for another minute or two until the wine is absorbed.
10. Set a timer for 18 minutes. Add about half a cup of hot stock to the risotto and stir constantly until it is absorbed.
11. Add another half cup of stock and repeat this process until 18 minutes is up.
12. Add the pumpkin puree, nutmeg, rosemary and a final half cup of stock and stir vigorously to combine.
13. When risotto has once again become thick and creamy (don’t worry, this does happen!), add the roasted veggies and grated cheese and stir again to combine.
14. Finally, finish the risotto by stirring in the heavy cream and adding pepper and salt to taste.
15. Serve immediately while hot, garnishing with addition grated cheese and a sprig of rosemary on each plate if you have it.

This was a great meal to help me transition from the Thanksgiving holiday to the final three weeks of the semester.