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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Butternut Squash Risotto

Here is a divine risotto dish  that was adapted from a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis. Creamy risotto is elevated to another level with the addition of butternut squash and  a surprisingly addictive broth that is infused with squash and vanilla. My version is pretty streamlined compared to traditional risotto with the elimination of butter, wine, and cheese, however, this recipe proves how frivolous those extra ingredients are for an exquisite risotto. Simplifying the ingredients also allows the risotto to be healthier and dairy-free.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free
Makes 2 Large servings

4 cups low sodium chicken broth (check for gluten)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup arborio rice
1 tsp. chives
salt & pepper

1. Pour the broth into a medium saucepan. Add the vanilla extract and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium- low.

2. Carefully add in squash. Cook squash until fork-tender (about 20 minutes),  than remove from broth with a slotted spoon. Place squash on a plate and set aside. Leave broth simmering even after squash is removed (this is the broth you will use to cook the rice).

3. As the squash is cooking, begin the rice. Add olive oil to a large saucepan and bring to medium heat. Once oil is hot, add garlic and saute until fragrant about 30 seconds.

4. Pour in rice and stir until coated in oil. Next, use a ladle to remove about a half cup (it doesn't have to be precise) of the simmering broth and add to rice. (Be careful not to scoop out any of the squash). Stir the broth into the rice.

5. Continue stirring rice until it is almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes then add another ladleful of broth.

6. Continue stirring the rice, adding broth as needed every few minutes, until rice is tender and creamy. (This will take about 20-25 minutes total. The majority of the broth should be used up).

7. Turn off heat until risotto. Stir in squash, chives, and salt & pepper to taste. (Remove pot from burner if rice seems to stick a lot).

Nutrition Information--approximately 275 calories per serving

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