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
- 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.