Monday, October 3, 2011

Risotto with Roasted Squash, Spinach, and Saffron

Happy MoFo, MoFoers (and non-MoFoers)! Sorry to arrive a bit late to the annual party, but things are kind of cuckoo-bananas around here this fall. Even so, I'm going to keep my hand in, and try to post at least once or twice a week (and with all the amazing vegan bloggers participating - over 700 this year! - I'll never be short of inspiration). And so, without further ado...I give you a hearty, filling risotto: just what the doctor ordered on a chilly autumn evening. We happened to have butternut squash on hand, but acorn, pumpkin, or even sweet potato would do as well; it's really the saffron that gives it that certain special something. Since this recipe has an orange vegetable and leafy greens, we had it as a one-pot dinner, but it would also make a nice side dish for a more elaborate meal like a Sunday dinner or - GASP! - Thanksgiving, which is just around the corner.

Risotto with Roasted Squash, Spinach, and Saffron
~ 2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4" cubes
~ 6 cups strong vegetable broth
~ 1 tsp. saffron threads
~ 2 tbsp. olive oil
~ 2 cups chopped onions
~ 2.5 cups arborio rice
~ 1/2 cup dry white wine
~ 1 8 oz. package fresh baby spinach, chopped (about 4 cups)
~ 2 tbsp. Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
~ 1/3 cup vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast

~ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
~ On a baking sheet, coat the cubed squash in a little olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, tossing once around the middle of the roasting time, until the squash is brown and quite tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
~ Pour the stock into a pot and place over medium heat. Keep it very hot while you cook the risotto, but be careful to reduce heat if it comes close to a boil.
~ Toast the saffron by placing it in a metal spoon, then set it over a low flame to toast until fragrant. Add the toasted threads to the simmering broth.
~ In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion over medium heat until softened but not browned, about 7-10 minutes. Depending on how salty your stock is, you may or may not want to add a teaspoon of salt at this point.
~ Turn the heat to medium-high, and add the rice. Stir constantly for a couple of minutes, until the grains are coated and giving off a toasty aroma.
~ Add the wine, stirring constantly until it has been absorbed and making sure to scrape up any bits that have stuck to bottom of the pan.
~ Ladle in about a cup of the stock, and stir constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Continue this way until all of the stock has been added and the rice is creamy, but still has a bit of a bite to it.
~ Stir in the roasted squash and the spinach, and cook another minute or two.
~ Add the Earth Balance, the vegan parm or nooch,, and a few grinds of black pepper.
~ Mix thoroughly, remove from heat, and serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds phenomenal! I think we can all wholeheartedly accept you only posting once a week if you keep posting such awesome stuff.