October 5, 2010

Thanksgiving in October

This is my submission for the Foodbuzz and Electrolux thanksgiving side dish contest. Three lucky featured publishers will win free airfare and accommodations to the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival AND will be able to present their dish at the Electrolux booth! I would absolutely love to be able to go to the Blogger Festival so I can be more active and involved with Foodbuzz and the blogger world, so I jumped at the chance to present my version of a perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

Vegan roasted butternut squash risotto with fried sage and walnuts

- 1/2 cup arborio rice
- 1 heaping cup butternut squash, cubed
- 1 tbp olive oil + 1 tsp
- 1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Earth Balance
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp torn sage leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
- S&P, to taste

Fried sage:
- 10-12 whole sage leaves
- Olive or canola oil

- Preheat oven to 375.
- Coat butternut squash cubes in olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
- Make the fried sage: Add enough olive or canola oil to a frying pan to coat the bottom, and fry whole sage leaves on medium-high heat for 10-15 seconds or until oil stops bubbling. Make sure to take the leaves off before they burn. Allow to drain on a paper towel.
- In a large pot, add 1 tsp each olive oil and Earth Balance. Saute onions and garlic until translucent. Add arborio rice and coat with the fat, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes or until slightly toasted.
- Add the wine and sage, stirring until liquid is absorbed.
- Ladle in 1/2 cup of broth and stir frequently until most of the liquid has absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, until all the liquid has absorbed and rice is creamy and al dente, about 20-25 minutes.
- During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add in squash and walnuts and stir to combine. Divide into bowls and top with fried sage.

Serves 3-4 as a side, 2 as a main.

This risotto would be a fantastic addition to any Thanksgiving menu. It was creamy, stick-to-your-ribs, and perfectly autumnal. Not to mention it looks beautiful.

The taste? Amazing. It wasn't heavily seasoned but it didn't need it; the fresh and fried sage was enough. Even if I don't win the contest, I can say that this dish is a winner.

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  1. Oh wow. Just wow. This sounds absolutely fantastic.

  2. I wish you the very best with your entry.

    The dish looks like a great choice. Satisfying and yummy.

  3. Thank you. Surprisingly enough it was also good cold; I ate the leftovers in my night class and it was divine.

  4. Unfortunately the voting is up to Foodbuzz, but thanks for wanting to vote. :D

    Also, isn't the weather disgusting? I had to force myself to leave my apartment today. Awful.

  5. This risotto looks absolutely beautiful! I've only tried making risotto once, and it's turned out okay, but I think I'll have to give it another go with this one!

  6. Thank you. :) I've only made risotto once before as well and this version is WAY better than my first attempt.