My little Super-E has been really interested in cooking shows lately. Right after Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS there is a cooking show on Wednesday called America’s Test Kitchen. They do make a lot of meat dishes, but when they make something without meat, Super E gets very excited and wants me to make whatever it is for dinner. They happen to have a really good episode on butternut squash. Something I learned was that you can use the seeds and stringy stuff in broths to add more flavor. You just strain the broth through a strainer after cooking. You wouldn’t believe how much flavor this adds. I made butternut squash risotto using this broth method. Of course I veganized the recipe. It came out so rich, creamy and delicious. You wouldn’t believe that there is no dairy or cheese in it. This recipe WAS very time consuming, but worth the wait and effort.
Here is my version of this recipe:
Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto
1 tbsp olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes (about 3 cups) – save seeds and fiber
4 cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup water
2 Tbsp Earth Balance buttery spread
1 medium onion finely choped
2 lg cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 1/2 cups dry wine (I used a Chardonnay)
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the squash in an even layer and cook without stirring until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Put squash in a bowl and set aside.
2. Return skillet to medium heat; add reserved squash fibers and seeds. Cook, stirring frequently for about 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to large saucepan and add vegetable broth and water. Bring mixture to simmer over high heat, then reduce to low heat to maintain a slight simmer.
3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat; Add onions, garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, 4 to 5 minutes (do not allow onions to brown). Add rice to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes (edges of rice will be slightly translucent). Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until fully absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, thoroughly strain hot broth through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl. Return strained broth to saucepan and discard solids. Keep over low heat to keep broth hot.
5. When wine is fully absorbed, add 3 cups hot broth and half of reserved squash to rice. Simmer, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and bottom of pan is almost dry, about 12 minutes.
6. Stir in about 1/2 cup hot broth and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 3 minutes; repeat with additional broth 2 or 3 more times, until rice is al dente. Off heat, stir in sage and nutmeg and remaining cooked squash. Serve immediately and enjoy.