2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4′ cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 pound arborio rice
1 cup white wine
1 quart vegetable stock
1 quart water OR 2 quarts vegetable stock, no water (see Notes below)
1/2 cup plain soy creamer
6-8 sage leaves, minced or 1 1/2 tsp dried sage leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°.
Lay the butternut squash cubes onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment in a single layer. Bake about 40 minutes or so, until fork-tender. Puree with a cup of the water and set aside.
In a large flat-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the rice and stir, toasting the rice until the shallots are transparent and the rice is a little more opaque. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and allow it to cook down until very little of the wine is left in the pan.
Add 1 cup of vegetable stock and bring to boil. Stir until this cooks down. Continue this with the stock, then the water, until the rice is al dente, about 20 minutes or so. Once it is firm but not crunchy, add the butternut puree. Cook this down until it’s drier. Add water and cook the water down if needed to cook the rice to tender. Finish the risotto by adding the soy creamer, and heating through, then fold in the minced sage. Remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste.
Sheelah uses all fat-free vegetable stock instead of water to cook rice; he finds it builds flavor. This dish needs about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt for the pan and some generous grindings of fine pepper. Also, fresh sage is best for flavor. Lastly, the oil can be cut in half to 2 tablespoons. If you choose to do that, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable stock to the oil to sauté the garlic and shallots.
By Sheelah Katz