For me, autumn means uncontrollably incorporating winter squash and apples into just about everything I make. However, the butternut squash that goes into this risotto is justifiable not only because of its sweet taste and orange color, but the grated strands melt into the dish to help make it thick and creamy with little fat. Butternut squash also adds vitamins A and C, while all that garlic will help keep you healthy as the cold season befalls us. Or I like to believe it does. In any case, this dish is tasty, creamy, and filling which will make you feel good all on its own.
Notes: I used a mixture of fresh crimini and dried oyster mushrooms in this. It may take more or less broth, I can’t say for certain.
Butternut Sage Risotto with Mushrooms
2 Tbs olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
15 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped sage leaves
2 cups short-grain white rice
12 oz fresh mushrooms
1 butternut squash, grated
1/4 cup dry white sherry (warm or room temperature)
6-8 cups vegetable broth, mushroom broth or water
pinch of saffron (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp Earth Balance margarine
black sea salt (optional)
1. Heat broth/water in a tea kettle or a pot over medium heat. Keep your liquid at a simmer as you make the risotto.
2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add garlic and sage; cook about 2 minutes.
3. Add rice to saucepan and stir for 3 minutes to toast and coat rice with oil. Add in mushrooms, butternut squash, sherry, and 3 cups of the liquid (broth). Stir in saffron, salt, and pepper. Continue to stir gently and frequently as the rice absorbs liquid. When rice gets thick and less soupy, add in another cup of your simmering liquid and stir. Keep adding liquid, stirring, and cooking until rice is al dente, around 30 minutes (give it a taste to see if it’s done).
4. Remove from heat and stir in margarine. Serve sprinkled with black sea salt.