Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Baked Squash, Sauteed Spinach and Shallot-Walnut Risotto

I've been posting a fair number of meaty dishes lately, so figured I'd throw the vegetarians a bone. Well, a bone is probably the last thing they want. This is me, throwing them a chunk of tofu. Except, really, there is no tofu involved and I'm out of analogies, so I'm gonna skip to the good part and show you the dinner:

This is definitely a Sunday dinner type of meal... there is nothing quick about it. But, it is a very warm satisfying meal to fortify you as you prepare to head out into the no-man's-land of Monday morning, and I thought it was delicious.

-1c arborio rice (there was a lot of price variation here, one container cost $8 and one cost $3- obviously I bought the $3 one, but I have no idea if there were ramifications from that.
-.5c white wine (a good tip if you don't want to have a whole bottle open is to use those small bottles at the grocery store for cooking)
-approximately 4c of the broth of your choice (veggie or chicken)
-2 shallots, thinly sliced
-a few tablespoons of the butter product of your choice (I used Earth Balance)
-1/3-1/2c walnut pieces, toasted
-sprinkle nutmeg
-1/3c almond milk or milk of your choice

- 1 decent sized acorn or kabocha squash (I used Kabocha), cut into quarters or eighths depending on size
-2 tbsp butter product of your choice
-1 tbsp brown sugar
-pinch ground red pepper
-pinch nutmeg

-a few tablespoons leftover broth
-as much spinach as needed
-half tsp garlic
-few drops balsamic vinegar

What to do:
I'm going to do this not categorized by ingredient, but in the order I think you should do them to actually get this all done around the same time.

1. put the shallots in a large pan with some of the butter, and cook very low, to begin to carmelize- this will take a while
2. after shallots are started, slice up squash
3. Combine butter, sugar, pepper, and nutmeg in a small bowl, and rub onto each slice of squash
4. Place slices in a pan, and bake at 400
5. put walnuts in, to toast- take out when browned (much earlier than squash- watch this)

likely there will be a delay here, while the shallots caramelize and the squash bakes. when the shallots are very soft and brown, keep going:

5. pour broth into a sauce pan, and warm it up, so when you add it to the risotto, it is warm
6. pour wine into shallot pan, and cook for a few minutes so alcohol can burn off.
7. add rice, and cook for about 5 minutes, until lightly brown
8. start the process of gradually adding stock using a ladle, and stirring it until each spoonful is absorbed. I believe it is this slow process that lets the starch come off of the rice and thicken the mixture- you'll notice that the stock in the pan does look somewhat thickened as it cooks
9. keep going until the risotto is soft, but still a little firm. Then add in the walnuts, nutmeg, and almond milk, and stir in.
10. very quickly, use the remainder of the broth in the sauce pan to sauté the spinach-  just toss in a little garlic, throw in the spinach, and let it wilt.When it is wilted, sprinkle on a little balsamic vinegar.

To serve, spoon out risotto, serve spinach, and add the squash... yum!

1 comment:

sock puppet said...

i want to eat this, and i want to eat it NOW!


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