Kabocha Risotto with Sautéed Chard & Spiced Pepitas
About one year into writing my blog, I networked with a plant-based food blogger in my hometown of Boston called Vegan Miam. Vegan Miam was one of my favorite plant-based food blogs so when I went home to Boston, I invited Rika, the girl behind Vegan Miam, to coffee. She turned out to be so inspiring and had such a beautiful energy about her. She was also gracious enough to share her experiences in the blogging world which was very helpful for a newbie. Fast forward to three years later and today I am very excited to have Rika as our guest chef and blogger. Her vegan kabocha risotto looks absolutely delicious. Please visit her food blog for more of her outstanding recipes and beautiful photography. Hope you enjoy this delicious plant-based recipe as much as I did. Thank you, Rika for sharing and for your kind words.
From Rika – Recipe developer, vegan food blogger, part-time photographer behind Vegan Miam
I’m excited to join Ordinary Vegan to share my recipe for Kabocha Risotto with Sautéed Chard & Spiced Pepitas. Ever since I met Nancy, when she was still based in Boston back in 2012, I have been an avid follower of Ordinary Vegan. Nancy is such a kind-hearted, compassionate and inspiring individual and I felt like I had met a kindred spirit. I’m honored to be a part of her site and for our journeys to intersect once again so I can share my Kabocha Risotto with Sautéed Chard & Spiced Pepitas with all you lovely readers.
This creamy, wintery Kabocha Risotto is indulgently satisfying, with a rich variety of flavors and textures that are sure to please. It’s earthy and sweet from the pureed kabocha squash, slightly tangy from the sherry vinegar splashed sautéed chard and perfectly finished with spiced roasted pepitas for added texture and and just a bit of spice.
Thank you so much for having me Nancy and I hope all you enjoy this warming, hearty and wintery meal!
- 4 cups vegetable stock, homemade or low-sodium*
- 2 tablespoons vegan margarine or olive oil (unsalted) 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 large shallot, finely diced, about ¼ cup
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 11⁄2 cups dry white wine*
- 1 cup kabocha squash puree, packed*
- 1⁄8 - 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, add more if desired
- 1⁄4 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch rainbow chard, rinsed and thinly sliced (about 1⁄2 pound) 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup raw pepitas seeds
- 1⁄2 - 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt, add more to taste 1⁄8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ￼Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the pepitas and olive oil. Toss with dry ingredients well to coat. Arrange pepitas in a single layer on prepared baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally for about 8 to 10 minutes, until golden. Season to taste with salt, and add more cayenne pepper if desired. Let cool, then transfer to a serving dish.
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chards, a handful at a time and sherry vinegar. Cook until it begins to wilt and tender, about 10 minutes.Transfer to a serving dish.
- Put the stock and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to very low heat and hold at a simmer. Heat the olive oil or margarine in a wide, heavy skillet or a wide, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook garlic until just fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is completely coated, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until most of the wine has been absorbed by the rice, about 5 minutes.
- Add stock, 1⁄2 cup at a time, stirring, adding more as each portion is absorbed, for about 15 minutes until rice is al dente yet creamy. Stir in kabocha puree and the peas and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste now and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Serve risotto in bowls with chards and roasted pepitas.
- Advance preparation: The dish is best served right away. Roasted pepitas can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Homemade vegetable broth:
This is my favorite leek-based broth recipe. To make a homemade vegetable broth, heat oil in a Dutch oven or a large pot over medium high heat. Add 2 leeks (green and white), cook, stirring occasionally, until tender about 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1 carrot, 1 celery, 2 bay leaves, 2 fresh thyme sprigs, 1 cup cilantro or parsley (with stems), 1 cup mushroom stalks (optional), 5 cups water, dash of tamari and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (optional). Bring to a boil and let simmer for an hour. Drain well in a colander or sieve and press with the back of a wooden spoon to release broth.
Kabocha squash puree:
I’ve included a post detailing how to prepare kabocha squash – 1 cup kabocha puree is about 1 pound kabocha squash (unpeeled). Boil or steam cubed squash (peeled, about 1/2” cubed) for 10 minutes until tender, let cool and mash them into a puree (add a bit of water if it’s too dry).
For the white wine, try the reasonably priced vegan-friendly white wines such as Trader Joe's.