A delicious acorn squash risotto that is vegan and gluten-free.
Looking for a perfect fall side dish? Or a vegetarian knock-your-socks-off bowl of creamy goodness? Risotto might fit the bill. This is one of my all-time recipe favorites. In fact, it was the first dish I turned to eight years ago when I discovered I had to live gluten-free.
Way back then (insert hazy slow-mo flashback) I would add freshly grated Parmesan to the cooked risotto. Shaved Reggiano, to be exact. But these casein-free dairy-free days I enjoy this risotto strictly vegan. No cheese. And guess what? I don't feel deprived. Seriously. The flavors hold their own without the whole moo cow cheesy thing.
In fact, this risotto is so creamy-good and comforting I only think one thing as I taste bite after velvety bite: How could anything so simple taste so unbelievably good? Well, that, and, Who the heck needs cheese or butter, anyway?
The trick to a tasty risotto- with its signature texture- is to stir it during cooking. No cheating in a rice cooker. No covering it and setting it on low heat, praying to the Risotto Gods, hoping it will produce a tender-yet-firm-enough bite boiling away in it's sad, ignored little pot. You need to tend these pearly grains. Coax them. Sweet talk them. It's all about foreplay.
Risotto needs attention to bloom properly.
So that means a commitment on your part. But it's only a twenty-two minute commitment. You can handle that, right?
I guarantee, it's worth it.
|Risotto is my favorite comfort food.|
Roasted Acorn Squash Risotto Recipe
This autumn-into-winter flavored rice dish is an elegant vegetarian offering that is gluten-free and dairy-free. Make a vegan happy this holiday season. Serve this. Score some points.
1 medium acorn squash, halved, seeded
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups light tasting vegetable broth (dilute with water if it's too onion-y)
1 small onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free mild curry powder
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 1/2 cups raw short grain Arborio rice
1 cup white wine (optional; replace with broth if alcohol-free)
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
Options for garnish:
Chopped toasted pecans, slivered almonds or pine nuts
Chopped fresh parsley, if desired
Chopped fresh cranberries (shown)
First- roast the acorn squash.
Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
Roast the acorn squash by placing the two halves cut side up in a baking dish; add about two inches of hot water into the bottom of the dish. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender.
Meanwhile- start your risotto.
Heat the broth in a separate sauce pan, and keep it warm.
In a heavy medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium heat, and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the curry, nutmeg, and uncooked Arborio rice and stir well, until the rice is coated. Stir and cook for about 3-5 minutes.
Add the wine and stir for a minute or two.
Pour in 1 cup of the hot broth, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently for 7-8 minutes.
When most of the liquid is absorbed, add the remaining cups of broth 1 cup at a time, stirring and simmering until each cup of liquid is absorbed before adding the next one. (The whole process should take about 20-25 minutes; 22 minutes is my goal for al dente; if you cook risotto too long it may get gummy.)
When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and using a spoon scoop out pieces and add them into the risotto- I like to do this along with the last cup of broth. Stir to combine.
When the final cup of liquid is absorbed cover and set aside for a few moments before serving. Risotto likes to rest a bit.
Warm up four serving bowls. Spoon the risotto into the bowls, and garnish with some chopped toasted pecans, pine nuts or chopped fresh cranberries.
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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