Squash is one of my favorite vegetables. The different variations that are available in the Fal, particularly butternut squash makes this veggie even better. I decided a butternut squash risotto sounded delicious after spotting the veggie in my super market. I absolutely love butternut squash ravioli served with brown butter and sage. However, do to how long it takes to make homemade ravioli (although, I think it’s fun) and the fact that I can’t really bring myself to cook that at home because of all that goes in it, I made a risotto. This lets me get similar flavors but keeping it gluten free with a vegan option, too. You may recall before I’ve talked about vegan cheese when cooking and this is one of those recipes that you can certainly substitute that to meet your needs. Instead of real butter, I used a soy-free alternative that is dairy free. Again, I just can’t bring myself to cook with butter in my house any more, even though when I’m out and about I know I’m eating it in many foods I order. Small steps, y’all.
Risotto can be a labor of love. Not because it’s necessarily challenging to cook (it is actually pretty darn easy) but just because it can take awhile. You gradually add in liquid and as the rice/pasta absorbs it, then you continue to add more until it’s al dente, all while constantly stirring. No biggie, especially if you find a double use for the wine your cooking with as I always do and pour yourself a glass. This with a little music in the background makes stirring for twenty-ish minutes juuuuust fine in my book.
I think next up I’m going to try a butternut squash soup. If you’ve got any ideas or recommendations for ways to use this delicious veggie, please let me know!
- 3 cups of butternut squash, peeled & chopped
- 2.5 cups of vegetable stock (approximately)
- 1 cup of greens: spinach, arugula, kale or combo
- 3/4 cup of white wine
- 1/2 cup of risotto (aka arborio rice)
- 1/2 cup of yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (Asiago/Parmesan combo) or dairy free Parmesan cheese alternative
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon of butter alternative (or butter, if that’s your thing)
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- 1 teaspoon of sage
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Salt + Pepper to taste
- Start by prepping your veggies– chop your onion & garlic, then peel and chop your butternut squash. Open your wine, and pour a glass while you’re at it.
- In a stock pot over medium heat, add your butter alternative. When it is melted and browning, add your squash + salt & pepper. Cook the squash until it is tender and a bit caramelized. Set it aside
- In the same pot, add half of you olive oil. When it’s warm, add our garlic and onion and saute until golden brown.
- Next, add your risotto and stir it continuously for a few minutes (approximately 3)
- Add your wine and stir continuously until it is all absorbed.
- Then, slowly add your vegetable stock about 1/2 a cup at a time until your rice is al dente and has absorbed most of the liquid.
- Next, add your seasonings, a little more butter alternative, and cheese. Mix ingredients until cheese is melted. Then, add squash and greens. If it looks too thick once the cheese has melted, add a little water or more vegetable stock to thin it out.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as preferred. Serve warm with the rest of your white wine and enjoy!
A few tidbits–
I prefer to cook with dry white wine, so that is what I used in this recipe. Mostly, because I don’t do sweet and I’ll be drinking the remainder while I cook. I find that too sweet of wine when cooking can overpower the other flavors, too.
For my dairy alternative, I use Earth Balance, found at Whole Foods. I buy the soy free one for my butter substitute, but they have some great ones that are flavored with olive oil, etc that are great for cooking or even on top of baked goods.
There are lots of options for dairy free cheese at Whole Foods, too. A few brands include: Daiya, Kite Hill, and Follow Your Heart.