Rich and creamy squash risotto [vegan]
My squash obsession continues with this recipe for risotto. Squash risotto is perfect for a family gathering or a dinner party—it’s a rich dish and makes for a filling main course. To round out dinner, I served it with a golden beet and spinach salad.
Thoughts on timing:
I love cooking, so the time it takes to make risotto never bothers me. The trouble with creating a risotto recipe is that the amount of time it takes to make this dish can very greatly—depending on the heat of your stove, the pot you use, and probably other factors I don’t even know about. I usually give myself an hour to make risotto, although it may cook in as little as 30 minutes.
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 tablespoon olive oil for the rice, and a bit more to brush on the squash
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
5 cups vegetable broth
1 acorn or red kuri squash
Optional: vegan parmesan topping or crushed cashews
Vegetarian option: grated parmesan cheese
Tip: Use a baking sheet with a lip, to catch any juices from the squash.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the squash on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, to soften the skin.
2. With the oven still on, take the squash out and let it cool for a couple minutes. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Lightly brush the squash with olive oil (you can use a pastry brush or spread it with a spoon) and place the halves back on the baking sheet face-down.
3. Return the squash to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the squash is very soft. It’s OK if the halves lose their shape.
4. Combine the rice, olive oil, salt and garlic in a medium saucepan over low heat. Then begin adding the broth a half cup at a time, and stirring frequently. Once the liquid is absorbed, add the next cup of broth—this usually takes 3 to 5 minutes on my stove, but this can very greatly depending on the heat.
5. When the squash is cooked, scoop the soft part out of the skin and stir it into the rice. You can also stir in any juices that may have collected in the baking sheet. You can continue incorporating broth after the squash has been added.
© Margaret Badore
6. Cook until the rice is tender. If the rice is still crunchy when you’ve added all 5 cups of broth, you can add more broth.
7. If you’re making a vegetarian version, you can also stir in a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese for extra richness. Or, just serve with the vegan topping of your choice!