The Newbie Cook
- 18,438 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
This dish is another one I cooked for the girls yesterday. I made this with Chris in mind because he’s half Italian. And it turns out that he has never even had risotto because his grandparents are from Sicily. He had to explain the differences of food from Northern, Central and Southern Italy and risotto is a northern Italy thing.
Hmph. At least the rice was good.
I wanted to add a lot of vegetables and chose butternut squash and spinach. Because squash goes well with rice and it was spinach that I happened to pick up in the grocery store yesterday. This way, everyone will get their daily veggie serving whether they want to or not, mwahahaha.
Risotto should be a tasty stand-alone dish but since Filipinos eat their rice along with another dish, usually meat, I intentionally made it more bland and slightly less creamy to complement the taste of the honey glazed chicken (which is another story).
I love the resulting texture and colors of the veggies in the rice. But I would puree the squash if I would serve this to children or adults like my brother (who will skip veggies if he could).
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SPINACH RISOTTO
Adapted from Serious Eats
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 medium sized onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups washed rice, of the short-grained and sticky variety
1/2 cup white wine (optional if you don’t drink alcohol)
1 liter (4 cups) of vegetable stock
1 small butternut squash, cut into little cubes
1 small bunch of spinach, cut into fine strips
1 teaspoon rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan (optional)
Sauté the garlic and onion in EVOO over medium heat until the onion is lightly caramelized and the garlic pieces are browned around the edges. Add the rice and coat the grains with oil for a few minutes. Add the wine and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Pour the stock into the rice and bring to a boil. Add the squash and spinach, stirring as you cook. Add the rosemary, salt and pepper. Continue to stir and add water as needed. The rice shouldn’t be just cooked, it should release its milky starch and pop (split down the middle). The result should be creamy.
Serve with grated parmesan if desired.
Optional for non-vegetarians: