A Recipe from Chef Wayne Johnson

October 13, 2021

With fall quickly approaching, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes with you! I love the smell of pumpkins roasting in the oven and sautéing fresh spices on the stove top on a chilly fall day. It reminds me of the comfort that food brings to a home and how it brings people together.

As we head into the holiday season, I hope you enjoy this pumpkin risotto recipe and share it with friends and family. To follow along and learn more about our upcoming gala, watch the full segment highlighted on Fox 13 Seattle.


Pumpkin Risotto for Four People


Shelf Life: 5 days

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup onions, ¼” dice
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 ¼ cups chicken broth

Pumpkin Purée

  • 14 ounces pumpkin purée
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar

Spice Mix
Shelf Life: 5 days

  • 2 tbsp cumin, ground
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp paprika, Spanish
  • 2 tsp ginger, ground
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon, ground
  •  1 tbsp salt, kosher

Pumpkin Risotto

  • 1 tbsp salt, kosher
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups onion, diced
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 chilis, sliced thin
  • 1 ½ cups roasted pumpkin, ¾” dice
  • 3 tbsp spice mix
  • 4 cups Arborio rice base
  • 12 ounces pumpkin purée
  • 4 cups vegetable stock, hot
  • 5 ounces chard, small dice
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup spiced walnuts
  • 4 roasted mini pumpkins
  • 12 chive sprigs

For Arborio Rice:

Melt butter in small pot with high sides over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté stirring constantly until translucent. Add rice and sauté, continuing to stir constantly until somewhat translucent. Do not brown. Add chicken broth ½ cup at a time, simmer – stirring constantly, until no liquid releases when you pull it away using mixing spoon from bottom of pan. Spread on sheet pan and refrigerate until chilled.

For Pumpkin Purée:
Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth.

For Vegetable Stock:
In stockpot, heat oil and sauté vegetables until light golden brown. Add herbs and water. Simmer one hour. Strain through fine mesh sieve. Cool.
For Mini Roasted Pumpkin
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut off top of the pumpkin and use a spoon to clean out the seed. Place mini pumpkins on a sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes or until you can easily insert a toothpick into the pumpkin. Remove from oven and set aside for the presentation.

For Pumpkin Risotto
In pan, heat olive oil and sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic and chilis and sauté one minute. Add roasted pumpkin, spice mix, arborio rice, pumpkin purée and hot vegetable stock. Cook until rice is creamy. Toss in Swiss chard and finish with butter.
To Serve:
Present risotto coming out of mini pumpkins. Garnish with spiced walnuts and chives. Drizzle with walnut oil. Risotto will last 5 days.