Joseph Lessard believes you can’t have too much of a good thing. When the chef from Goddess and the Grocer (1646 N Damen Ave, 773-342-3200, and other locations) had an occasion where he had an overabundance of risotto on hand, he decided to experiment with the grain rather than just toss it. The result: pumpkin risotto cakes—a “happy accident,” says Lessard. “One of the cooks had the idea to try and fry the cold risotto, and we found that it became crispy and quite tasty,” he says. “I decided to use pumpkin in the recipe because it has a rich, earthy flavor that pairs well with the creaminess of the risotto.” (There’s also the cheerful orange color that appeals to little ones.) After that, Lessard and his staff got playful. “We took the idea to the next level by cutting the risotto into various shapes and sizes,” Lessard says “I was particularly fond of the pumpkin shaped cakes.” We have a hunch kids will be, too.
Try Lessard’s perf-for-Thanksgiving recipe, compliments of Goddess and the Grocer.