Vegan Creamy Red Kuri & Butternut Squash Risotto

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vromans back

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Risotto is easy.  I do not know why people get intimidated.  Sure – you stand there stirring for 20-30 minutes but that really is not that long when you consider that you can feed a family with this comforting goodness – and making a large vat takes the same amount of time as a small quantity.  I made this vegan because I did not feel it really needed the cheese most risottos use.  That said – if you are not vegan – some nice Parmesan or goat cheese might be nice stirred in.  Also – I used 2-4 times as much squash as most recipes will suggest.  My thinking is that the squash is guiltless & filling so if the risotto is the smaller part of what you eat – it just makes for a lighter meal – and most folks appreciate lighter – especially when it still SEEMS creamy & decadent.

I used a red kuri squash & a butternut – because that is what I had.  You can use any orange squash you like or pumpkin or even sweet potatoes.

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Vegan Creamy Red Kuri & Butternut Squash Risotto

Serve 6

INGREDIENTS

2 cups risotto or arborio rice

9 cups vegetable stock

2 TBS olive oil

2 shallots – chopped

1 small onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – chopped

1 medium red kuri squash – peeled, seeded & cut into bite-sized pieces

1 small butternut squash – peeled, seeded & cut into bite-sized pieces (or any combo you prefer)

1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)

S&P

GARNISH OPTIONS – chopped parsley, fried sage, vegan or real Parmesan, vegan or real goat cheese, any soft & creamy cheese you like (vegan or otherwise)

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DIRECTIONS

Bring the stock to a boil, reduce heat & leave simmering on the lowest flame.

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot on MEDIUM heat & cook the shallots & onion for about 2 minutes.  Add the squashes & stir.  Cook the squash for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic & stir.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes.  Do not burn the garlic.

Add the wine (if using) and let the alcohol cook off (which happens very fast).  Add the rice & stir to incorporate the rice.

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Add the stock, one cup at a time & stir it in.  I left mine with a lid on a pan for a minute here & there to aid in steaming the rice.  Once that stock is absorbed, add more & keep stirring.  In about 20-30 minutes – you should have stirred in most of the stock.  Reserve about a cup.  If the rice is not tended – turn the heat to low & cover the pan for a few minutes.  If you need to add the rest of the stock – you can.  I used a potato masher & mashed about half of the squash into the rice.  This is an optional step – but it makes the risotto even creamier.  Once the rice is tender – I like to either stir in more stock or some water so that the risotto is just a tad more like a thick soup.  I hate dry & clumping risotto – but others might prefer it that way.  If you like it drier – just cook it down (careful not to burn it) until it is thick enough.  If it gets too thick – add stock or water.

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I served mine looking as soupy as that above.  The rice keeps absorbing so – it will thicken up fast.  Season with S&P.

Garnish as you desire & serve.

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