This recipe for butternut squash risotto includes two other tastes I love – sage and caramelized onions. It’s a rich, savory yet sweet low-salt vegan dish that the whole family will love.
Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe
This butternut squash risotto recipe is low-salt, low-fat, and vegan. Perhaps more importantly, it tastes great! You won’t miss the salt or the dairy in this yummy creamy-savory treat.
Growing Butternut Squash
This summer, I found it hard to find many gardening supplies I usually find with ease, including garden seeds. I read somewhere that increased demand due to the pandemic caused gardening supply shortages. People who were staying home were suddenly finding time for hobbies they’d always wanted to try, and gardening is one of them.
While I’m delighted that so many people are interested in gardening, it made finding seeds difficult. I dug into my stash and found a package of butternut squash seeds. I didn’t expect much (the seeds were several years old) but true to their nature, they thrived, and I harvest over a dozen butternut squash.
Butternut squash is easy to grow but it does succumb to squash beetles. These insects lay clusters of eggs on the underside of leaves. When the eggs hatch, the nymphs use their piercing mouthparts to suck the sap from the leaves. They can quickly kill plans. You can use commercial insecticide or my preferred method, which is to scrape the eggs off daily before they can hatch.
How to Cook Butternut Squash
Unlike other squash which has a hard rind or shell, butternut squash has a softer outer hull. This makes their storage time shorter than other winter squashes but it also makes them easier to cook.
To cook butternut squash, cut off the stem end and the blossom end. Then, slice the neck off from the bulb at the end. Peel the stem thoroughly with a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife until you’re doing to the orange flesh. Cut into cubes and boil for 6-8 minutes.
The seeds are located inside the bulbous blossom end. I slice it in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Then I peel and dice up whatever flesh is left and add it to the pot to boil and cook.
The Secret to Creamy Risotto (without Dairy)
In this recipe, you’ll cook the butternut squash first and separately and set it aside while you cook the risotto. Then, add the squash at the end.
To make your risotto extra creamy without any dairy, use the correct rice. Arborio rice, found in most supermarkets and grocery stores, cooks into a soft, creamy risotto.
Another secret to creamy butternut squash risotto is to heat the liquid thoroughly before adding it to the pan. I keep a pot of vegetable stock simmering on the stove and ladle it into the risotto one spoonful at a time. This slow-cooking method enables the rice to achieve its creamy potential without adding dairy.
If you’re ready to enjoy this taste sensation, gather the ingredients, and let’s get cooking!