Calabasa Leek Risotto

  • Yield 4 servings

Calabaza or Calabasa, also known as green pumpkin and West Indian pumpkin, is a popular squash variety that is grown throughout the Caribbean, Central America and South America.


1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, chopped and washed well
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cups 1/2-inch-diced skinned calabaza squash
3 sprigs fresh thyme chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
1 pound arborio rice
6 cups vegetable broth or water
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and saute leeks and onions 1 minute. Add calabaza squash, thyme and bay leaf; saute 1 minute longer. Add rice and combine well with vegetables. Add about 2 cups broth, bring to a boil and continue to simmer, stirring often, until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add more broth and simmer, gradually adding remainder of broth in small quantities until rice is tender and most of broth is absorbed. When rice is tender after 15 to 18 minutes total cooking time, add parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and cilantro; serve immediately.



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