Imagine this with me.
It’s a cold, windy night, and you can hear it pouring outside. Diagonal streaks of rain are patterned on your window panes, and you’re glad you’re safe at home, warm and snug in your kitchen, instead of being stuck in the raging storm.
Your stomach growls softly, because you haven’t eaten since the early afternoon, and you’re starving for something warm, homemade, nutritious and flavorful.
And then you start to chop, dice and mince ingredients, sauteing onions and garlic in a wok and breathing in the seductive smells of caramelized onions intertwined with slightly toasted garlic.
Adding in diced butternut squash and sliced mushrooms, you watch the splash of color unfold before you, and then you pour in rice and vegetable stock. Stirring the ingredients continuously in a figure-8 motion, you are mesmerized as the ingredients cook and simmer, and soon the rice expands as it absorbs the stock, growing before your eyes.
The sweet aroma of butternut squash rises and swirls around you, and you continue stirring the big wok of rice.
The rice has turned an orange-yellow, stained by both the butternut squash and the vegetable stock, and has transformed into a thick, creamy risotto, ready to be savored slowly, accompanied with a glass of chilled white wine.
After your eyes have fully appreciated the gorgeous dish you’ve just made, you dig in anxiously into your bowl, and scoop a large spoonful of warm, beautiful risotto for the soul.
The rain is still pattering on your window panes, but you no longer notice it. You’re not feeling cold anymore. You can only focus on the glorious spoonful of delight right before you, and you finally give in and try it.
Ahh..This is what the fruits of your labor taste like – comforting, sweet and rich. Butternut squash and mushroom risotto, for your soul.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH & MUSHROOM RISOTTO (Serves 4)
1) 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
2) 200g of fresh mushrooms, sliced
3) 1 large onion, chopped
4) 1 large clove of garlic, minced
5) 20g of butter
6) 1.2 liters of vegetable stock
7) 300g of arborio rice (for risottos)
8) Salt & pepper as needed
1) Peel and dice butternut squash, chop onion, mince garlic and slice mushrooms
2) In a wok, saute onions and garlic for a few minutes until onions start to turn transparent
3) Add in diced butternut squash and stir-fry for 10 – 15 minutes on low to medium heat
4) Once butternut squash turns slightly softer, add in sliced mushrooms and stir well
5) Add in rice and stir for 1-2 minutes (to allow rice to absorb the flavors)
6) Add in 3/4 the amount of vegetable stock and and stir in figure-8 motion
7) Add in butter and stir
8) As rice starts absorbing the liquid and expands, add in more vegetable stock and keep stirring
9) Repeat step 7 for as long as necessary until rice reaches a chewy cooked consistency
10) Add salt & pepper to taste
11) Serve piping hot with grated cheese if desire
Saute onions and garlic for a few minutes until onions start to turn transparent:
Add in diced butternut squash and stir-fry for 10 – 15 minutes on low to medium heat:
Add in sliced mushrooms & stir well:
Add in rice:
Stir for 1-2 minutes (to allow rice to absorb the flavors):
Add in 3/4 the amount of vegetable stock and and stir in figure-8 motion:
Add butter and more vegetable stock as necessary:
Rice has absorb all the liquid and has reached a chewy, cooked consistency:
Thick, creamy butternut squash & mushroom risotto:
Butternut squash & mushroom risotto for the soul: