Butternut Squash Risotto

The Hubs took the little one to get his 18 month vaccinations yesterday while I worked on getting supper done. I picked out the Butternut Squash Risotto from the Deliciously Ella cookbook. With the other reviews I couldn’t tell you the step-by-step process. With this recipe I can because it’s on her Deliciously Ella site. If you go to her site and you’re in North America, remember you’ll have to convert the metric measurements.

You start out roasting two butternut squash. You’ll have to peel them and then chop them up in to bite-sized squares. If you find a good and quick way to peel a butternut squash, please let me know. Every time I work with a butternut squash, the peeling part is what takes me the longest. I slice the squash, and then slice the peel off.

With that said, I do love butternut squash. I’ve never cooked with it until I became a vegan. I’ve seen it in the grocery store and heard it mentioned on cooking shows a few times, but I never had a desire to cook with it. Now, I love it and so does the little one. The butternut squash and the pumpkin are part of the same family (a pumpkin is a squash), and when you slice into a butternut squash you’ll see a similarity.

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If you get a particularly ripe one, like I happened to luckily get, you’ll notice a sweet smell. It kind of reminded me of the smell of a fresh watermelon. Here’s what my favorite Flavor Thesaurus has to say:

Butternut squash and pumpkins share a chapter as they have similar flavor affinities and are often used interchangeably. Bear in mind, nonetheless, that butternut squash is naturally sweeter and will require less sugar in sweet recipes. There’s also a difference in texture: the dense flesh of butternut squash is fine-grained and silky, whereas pumpkin can be rather fibrous. The pronounced sweetness of butternut squash works well with salty ingredients; cut through with something spikily sour; or, in combination with the density of its flesh, as a background for potent herbs such as rosemary and sage.

What the Thesaurus says makes sense about “cutting through with something spikily sour,” because she calls for apple cider vinegar in the recipe. In the book, she says to use 1-2 tablespoons. I used 2 tablespoons and found that the vinegar was a tad bit overpowering. BUT that’s just with my taste. You, however, might like to use 2 tablespoons. Add your vinegar to taste.

Once you chop the butternut squash up, drizzle some olive oil on it and then sprinkle paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper on it. Then you let it bake at 425F for about 30 minutes. I kind of eyeballed the measurements for the paprika and cumin. I poured it into the palm of my hand and then sprinkled it evenly all over the squash.

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I cooked my rice while the squash was baking. The recipe calls for brown rice, but I didn’t have any on hand so I just used my trusty white rice.

Once the squash is done baking, you’ll put 1/3 of it into a food processor along with some nutritional yeast, water, tahini, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. Then blend until you have a smooth texture. This is the part where you’ll want to add your vinegar to taste. (That’s just my opinion).

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Then you’ll just pour the blended squash on top of your rice and then top if off with a few pieces of the leftover baked squash. Voila!

The recipe was simple and tasty. The butternut squash added sweetness but the apple cider vinegar cut it down a bit and added another layer of flavor. All-in-all, the recipe was good and was excellent for lunch. The little one loved this dish and ate every last piece of rice. I’m a little biased because the hero of this dish was the butternut squash, and plus the recipe has nutritional yeast (I love that stuff) in it, so of course I’m going to give this recipe a good review. However, if you want to form your own opinion, go ahead and check our her site: deliciouslyella.com or better yet go get her new cookbook. It’s FULL of wonderful recipes.

Tonight, we’re going to try her ten-minute tomato pasta. I can’t really argue with a recipe that’s quick especially the day after the little one gets his shots because he’s a bit under the weather today. If you’re a fan of the Today Show, she did a segment on there a little while ago highlighting this recipe.

I wish you all a happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m off to have some medjool dates with some peanut butter as a snack. Thank you Ella Woodward for opening my eyes to these darlings!

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