Butternut Squash Risotto

Over Christmas I made my first risotto, Butternut Squash Risotto to be exact.  However, I encountered a lot of problems cooking the recipe: I made too much squash, I started the risotto before making the sauce, I then added too much sauce, and it came out more like a soup.  It still tasted good, but I wanted to perfect the recipe before posting it on my blog.

Since risotto is not the easiest meal to make, I hadn’t made the risotto again before now.  I figured Easter would be a perfect opportunity to invest a little extra cooking time and try the recipe out again.  And the second time…it was a huge success!  In fact, it was such a success, I think next time I may have to double the recipe!

Butternut Squash Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds butternut squash (I buy a package that is already pre-chopped from Wegmans)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 sage leaves, chopped (and extra to garnish)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • 1 cup arborio rice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Place cut up butternut squash in a large bowl. Add olive oil, paprika, sage leaves, and salt and pepper. Mix to evenly coat the squash.
  3. Place butternut squash on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until soft.
  4. Once the squash is done, begin making the sauce.  Put 3/4 of the squash into a large bowl.  Add 2 tbsp of water, the nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and salt.
  5. Using an immersion blender, combine all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  (Alternatively, you can combine all sauce ingredients in a blender.)  Set aside.
  6. Begin making the risotto rice following the directions according to the package. (For 1 cup of arborio rice, I added 1 cup of water every 5 minutes.  I added a total of just over 3 cups of water.)
  7. Once the rice is al dente, slowly stir in the sauce mixture.  You want the risotto to be creamy, and to have a good bite, not soupy (I had a little leftover sauce).
  8. Add the remaining squash pieces (you may want to first cut the squash into even smaller pieces) and gently stir to combine.
  9. If desired, garnish with additional chopped sage leaves.

Even though risotto is very time consuming, if there is a special holiday or other occasion coming up, this is a meal definitely worth giving a try.  It is creamy, tasty, and definitely worth the effort.  Enjoy!

I am roughly estimating that this recipe makes about 4 servings.  One serving yields approximately 388 calories and 11g protein.

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