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Archive for March 5th, 2009

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What a pleasant surprise this recipe was. I love everything about risotto, and it’s been a while since I made some. I found this dish here, and I was definitely in the mood to try it. Simple ingredients, well-outlined steps, and a very successful outcome. Just loved this risotto – true comfort food. I made the usual dairy substitutions. The original recipe calls for buttercup squash, but my market was out, so I used butternut instead. Enjoy!

Squash risotto with toasted pumpkin seeds

1 buttercup or butternut squash, cut into 1/2″ dice

2 tablespoons, margarine

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion

3 large cloves of garlic

2 cups uncooked arborio rice

1 1/2 cups white wine

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

6-7 cups chicken broth

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup grated soy parmesan cheese

1/2 cup pumpkins seeds

Pour the chicken broth into a medium pot and keep on medium-low heat to warm it through as you prepare the other ingredients.

Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic. Heat up the margarine and the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Keep the heat on medium-low, and begin to gently sweat out the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes. Then add the squash, and let it cook together for 5-10 minutes, or just until the squash is starting to soften up a little bit.

Add the rice and stir to make sure that each grain is coated in the margarine and oil. Cook, stirring regularly, for a minute or two, just until the rice starts to lose some of the white and look less opaque. Add the sage, thyme, turmeric, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, then check the seasonings again at the end. Stir to make sure that the spices are well combined with the squash and spices.

Pour in the cup and a half of wine and stir well. Let this cook for several minutes, stirring regularly, until the wine is almost all absorbed.

Pour a couple ladles of stock into the rice, and stir it often until it is almost all absorbed. Repeat this process until your rice and squash are cooked. This process will take about 25-30 minutes. When the rice and squash are tender, the risotto is creamy but still slightly loose, like a thick porridge. Add your grated parmesan cheese and stir in.

While the risotto cooks, and in between stirs, heat up a teaspoon of olive oil in a small pan and saute the pumpkin seeds over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, until some of the seeds have started to brown. Spoon the seeds onto a plate to cool or they’ll continue to cook in the pan.

Serve the risotto and top with a generous sprinkling of the pumpkin seeds. Makes 4 servings.

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