Pumpkin Risotto with Goat Cheese and Bacon and a Brussel Sprouts & Green Apple Salad with a Fig

You guys are in for a treat today because now we're cookin’ up some of my signature, fully loaded, Pumpkin Risotto with goat cheese, bacon, brussel sprouts and green apple salad topped with a delightful fig vinaigrette. The College of Charleston Hospitality Chub came in for a cooking lesson and it was a blast.

I know, I know, the dish makes you drool before you even try it. I can assure you this is one recipe you won’t want to miss out on!

Let me know what you think about the recipe in the comments below and share it with your friends!

Pumpkin Risotto (adapted from Giada de Laurentiis)

  • 4 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth, plus extra for moistening, as needed

  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin OR Williams- Sonoma Pumpkin Puree

  • 4 slices applewood smoked bacon, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 leek (white and pale green part), thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice

  • 2/3 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon (generous) freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 1/2 cup coarsely crumbled soft fresh goat cheese (about 6 ounces)


-Whisk together the broth and the pumpkin in a heavy medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low to keep the pumpkin broth warm.

-Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Transfer to a paper towel with a slotted spoon to drain.

-Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until almost tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

-Mix in the thyme. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute.

-Add the wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until completely absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the pumpkin broth and stir until almost completely absorbed 1 to 2 minutes.

-Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to absorb before adding the next. Cook until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, and the mixture is creamy, 20 to 25 minutes, adding additional warm broth by 1/4 cupfuls if risotto is dry.

-Mix in the Parmesan, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, the remaining salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat. Add more salt to taste.

-Divide the risotto among 6 shallow bowls. Sprinkle each with the bacon, goat cheese and remaining parsley and serve.

Friendsgiving Salad: Arugula with Cast- Iron Shredded Brussels Sprouts, Granny Smith Apples, Figs, and Balsamic

Sometimes, while in college, the closest you can get to inviting your friends over for Thanksgiving dinner with your family is to host a Thanksgiving! Here in Charleston, we have plenty of local produce to utilize, and I challenge you to scout out the freshest produce in your area for Thanksgiving, because it makes all the difference!

  • 1 bag Arugula

  • 2 pounds Brussel sprouts

  • 2 Granny Smith Apples

  • A couple handfuls of figs, quartered

  • Olive oil

  • 1-2 tablespoons butter

  • Salt and pepper

  • Sweet balsamic vinegar syrup (Williams- Sonoma) … Optional

  • Focaccia Croutons (Williams- Sonoma) …Optional


-Make sure your arugula is washed before beginning*

-Slice figs into quarters, slice apples however you prefer (I recommend dicing or slicing them matchstick style). Set aside.

-Cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts. Shred sprouts by hand using a sharp knife or in the food processor fitted with the large slicing disk.

-Melt butter and olive oil in a cast iron pan. Add Brussels sprouts and cook 4-5 minutes or until bright green. Add salt and pepper to taste.

-Put arugula in a wide, beautiful bowl. Add Brussels sprouts, apples, and figs. Make sure you expose the fresh fruit. I recommend using a sweet balsamic glaze from Williams- Sonoma and finishing off the salad… if you want to be extra cheffy, add Williams- Sonoma focaccia croutons.


I hope you enjoy these special recipes! Remember, risotto takes time. Slow and steady will earn you the cravable flavor profile that you want.


Lauren Furey

—Now We’re Cookin’

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