Squash are highly nutrient dense, containing excellent amounts of vitamins A and C, beta carotene, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids. Squash can promote lung health, prevent heart disease, and protect colon cells from cancer growth. Get your autumnal sweet nutty buttery plant-powered butternut sage risotto on!
I tweeted that I was making this for dinner and one of my followers replied: “every time I read the word risotto I hear Chef Ramsey screaming at someone ‘YOU CALL **THIS** A RISOTTO??!?!?!’”
If you’re a Hell’s Kitchen fan, you’ll appreciate that he would absolutely be screaming this at me if he were watching me make it. There is no butter, there is no cream, no cheese, we use slow-cooked brown rice instead of fast-cooking white arborio rice, and there is no chicken stock;) So, no, it is def not Chef Ramsey’s Risotto, but it is a lot healthier, and though I’ve never tasted the Gordon’s, which is certainly ooey gooey buttery and cheesy, I’m certain this lovely creamy sweet butternut squash and savory sage version is much more delish;)
Here’s how for 2:
1 cup organic short grain brown rice, rinsed well and cooked
1/2 medium butternut squash, diced in small dice
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small red onion
1 tsp dried sage or 4 fresh leaves, minced (go easy on sage – you can always add more, but too much will ruin the flavor)
2 Tbsp mild miso
2 umeboshi plums, minced
1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
4 leaves blue kale, chopped in fine ribbons
1/4 red pepper, diced finely
1 cup veggie broth or 2 tsp veggie broth mix and a cup of spring water
Cook brown rice with 2 cups spring water. (Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to minimum for 30-40 minutes, covered.) About 10 minutes from the end, toss in half of the diced butternut squash, the minced umeboshi plums (or a tsp of paste) and all the kale ribbons. Cover.
In a frying pan on medium, heat just enough veggie broth to cover the bottom of the pan. Sautee garlic and onions with a pinch of salt, and when broth evaporates, add another splash. Toss in the other half of the diced squash with the sage. Cook in broth until squash is soft (15 minutes or so), continuing to add broth as you need it.
When squash is soft, remove from heat and blend in blender with miso. Adjust consistency with veggie broth to make a nice “cream.” The miso will give it a slight “cheesy” flavor.
Pour back in the frying pan and add the rice. Stir until the butternut sage sauce is absorbed into the rice. Plate, and decorate with finely diced red pepper. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
Chef Ramsey and I agree on one thing: “There’s never two risottos the same.”
Enjoy! And please don’t eat this while watching Hell’s Kitchen. So. Bad. For your digestion;)