When I think of my go-to comfort foods, risotto is definitely in my top 5 list. Unfortunately it’s not the quickest recipe to make, but it’s always well-worth the wait. One of the reasons I enjoy it so much is that it can be prepared in such a variety of ways and it’s so difficult to mess it up (as long as you just keep stirring). WIth all the wonderful winter squashes in the front of the stores right now, I have stocked up my kitchen and am having no trouble finding ways to use them. This will be the first of many!
I try my best to avoid dairy, and although risotto is typically made with cheese, it’s definitely not necessary. The cheese/milk is not what gives risotto its creaminess; it’s everything else that does. That being said, if you are a cheese-lover, parmesan is an excellent addition. Even without the cheese, this risotto is rich, comforting, and creamy but extremely healthy. The combination of sage and thyme gives it a unique flavor with a little bite, and the leeks in place of onion add a more complex flavor that goes perfectly with the squash and mushrooms. I’ve made this twice and used both delicata and butternut squash- both are delicious, and acorn or pumpkin would be as well. However, delicata and butternut are easier to use just because the skin is softer and easier to peel.
Since you’ve already opened a bottle of white to be used in this recipe, pour yourself a glass as you cook and relax by the stove. Cheers!
- 1 lb (about 2 cups) chopped squash (butternut, delicata, or acorn)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 3-4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup thinly sliced leeks (white/light green part only)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 cups chopped crimini or white mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped sage
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss squash in 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with S&P. Place on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until softened.
- Pour broth in medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leeks, garlic, and thyme and stir for several minutes.
- Add rice and stir for an additional one minute.
- Add wine, stirring occasionally until reduced, a few minutes.
- Gradually add 1/2 cups of broth, letting the rice mostly absorb the liquid before adding the next 1/2 cup. Stir throughout this process.
- When most of the broth has been added, toss in the mushrooms, sage, and roasted squash and stir to combine.
- Keep adding broth until the rice is softened and risotto is the consistency you would like. Season with salt and pepper and let sit for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.