Autumn Flavors Recipes

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Roasted Pumpkin Soup Recipe Recipe

Roasted Pumpkin Soup Recipe

10.24.12 by Jackie

We're finally back home to the Bay Area after our trip to Europe. Surprisingly, the weather in Paris was a lot warmer and more pleasant than California. It's been raining quite a bit here. With Halloween coming, I picked up 3 small pumpkins and made comforting creamy pumpkin soup to ward off the cold.

The preparation is fairly easy: roast the pumpkins, add a little molasses, puréed sunflower seeds and cream and you're good to go. I paired the soup with grilled slices of baguette bread, so my husband Lulu and I could reminisce about the wonderful time we just had in Paris. I'll be posting a lot of photos of our recent trip very soon. Stay tuned!


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Oven Roasted Tomato Risotto Recipe Recipe

The summer weather in the Bay Area hasn't been so great this year, and on top of that, an infestation of gophers in our garden forced us to grow fewer tomatoes in small planters this year. Not only are there fewer varieties, but because of the lack of heat the plants have not been all that prolific. I gathered a couple of handfuls of the few ripe cherry tomatoes I could find and I was determined to do something special with them.

To start, I slowly roasted them in the oven. I could have stopped there and just served them in a salad, but I opted to make my husband's favorite comfort food: risotto. Risotto is extraordinarily versatile (I've developed multiple variations) and perfect for any occasion. For this version, I used Carnaroli rice, which holds its shape better than Arborio rice. For a bit more texture, I mixed in melon-seed macaroni (similar rice-shaped pasta). The combination has a creamy mouthfeel, so no heavy cream is necessary. I colored the dish with sharp yellow Cheddar cheese and served it to all the vegetarians in the house. I think it ended up being a perfect send off for the fruits of our labor.


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Tomato Risotto Recipe Recipe

Tomato Risotto Recipe

12.21.10 by Jackie

This version of tomato risotto has a decidedly Indian sensibility. I flavored the rice with tomato chutney as I recently did with an Indian-inspired asparagus pie. The flavors from the chutney are so bold that no other spices and very little salt are needed. I just added chopped sun-dried tomatoes as garnish.

Making risotto takes a little bit of practice to begin with, but once you've worked on your fundamentals, you can start to use the basic recipe and create dozens of different variations. I've stuffed artichokes with risotto, paired pistachio pesto with celery risotto, stuffed it in zucchini flowers, made a roasted beet and ricotta cheese version, and also a rather unconventional risotto with bamboo; the list of adaptations is truly endless.


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Saffron Pumpkin Soup Served in Mini Pumpkin Bowls Recipe

I remember having a delicious velouté de potiron au safran in a French restaurant back when I was still living in Paris. I remembered it had a very nice earthy flavor of pumpkin, chanterelles, walnuts and saffron. The flavors are perfect for Thanksgiving, and given the season, I thought I'd try to recreate it.

I roasted the pumpkin to enhance and accentuate the sweetness without overpowering the soup. Instead of using potatoes as a thickening agent as I normally do, I decided to add pan-fried plantains to complement the sweetness of the pumpkin.

To match the elegant flavors of the soup, I created bowls out of mini-pumpkins for serving. The final result was as visually appealing as it was delicious, and met with a round of "oohs" and "ahs" when I brought it to the dinner table. It's a great first course, and best of all, there aren't any plates to wash when everyone's done!

Veloute de potiron au safran


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Celery Risotto with Pistachio Pesto Recipe

Daddy's been dieting diligently lately, and he told me yesterday that he had a craving for celery risotto. Of course, I was happy to oblige. Unlike many of my other risotto recipes, which will probably never be considered healthy, I decided to make this risotto (almost) as good for you as it is good to eat.

To complement the very distinct flavor of celery, I added lemon juice and a pistachio pesto. I also threw in a little parmesan cheese for a nutty aroma and flavor. Daddy enjoyed it so much that I froze several portions of the risotto so that he can get his "fix" whenever he wants, whether he's on a diet or not.


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