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Monday, October 3, 2011

M.M.... Meatless Monday!

Sorry there was no post on Friday.  I was in Seattle last week for work and could not keep up with blogging.  But, today I bring good news.  It's back!  Meatless Monday is back!  We went meatless on Saturday night... cracked open a bottle of wine and cooked risotto.  This is basically "date night" when you have a baby.  We love risotto.  It is actually pretty easy to cook, but you do have to "tend" to it.  We tried a new recipe this time incorporating three of my favorite things- butternut squash, spinach and pine nuts!  Yum!!!


I found this recipe online, but it was orginally published in Cooks Illustrated.


Ingredients



  • tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
  • butternut squash, peeled, seeded (medium, about 2 pounds) (I cheated and bought the pre-cut squash)
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • cups vegetable broth (I used Chicken Broth because I had it and I like the flavor)
  • cup water
  • ounces baby spinach
  • tablespoons unsalted butter
  • small onions, chopped very fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • cups arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 ounces parmesan cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup)
  • tablespoons fresh sage leaves, minced  (I did not find these, but imagine it would add yummy flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg, grated
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted in small, dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes
  • Directions:

    1. 1
      Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add about 3 1/2 cups squash in even layer and cook without stirring until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender and browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer squash to bowl and set aside.
    2. 2
      Return skillet to medium heat; add reserved squash fibers (I did not have these) and seeds and any leftover diced squash. Cook, stirring frequently to break up fibers, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to large saucepan and add vegetable broth and water; cover saucepan and bring mixture to simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain bare simmer.
    3. 3
      While broth mixture is simmering, add 1 teaspoon olive oil to now-empty skillet and swirl to coat. Add 4 ounces baby spinach and cook, covered, over medium heat, until leaves begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring constantly, until fully wilted, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
    4. 4
      Melt 3 tablespoons butter (or margarine) in now-empty skillet over medium heat; when foaming subsides, add onions, garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are translucent around edges, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until fully absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes.
    5. 5
      Meanwhile, strain hot broth through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Return strained broth to saucepan and discard solids in strainer; cover saucepan and set over low heat to keep broth hot.
    6. 6
      When wine is fully absorbed, add 3 cups hot broth and half of reserved squash to rice. Simmer, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and bottom of pan is almost dry, about 12 minutes.
    7. 7
      Stir in about 1/2 cup hot broth and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 3 minutes; repeat with additional broth 2 or 3 more times, until rice is al dente. Turn off the heat, stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter/margarine, Parmesan, sage, and nutmeg; drain excess liquid from spinach and gently fold in spinach and remaining cooked squash. If desired, add up to 1/4 cup additional hot broth to loosen texture of risotto. Top individual servings of risotto with toasted pine nuts; serve immediately.

      The husband and I both loved this dish.  It was very flavor and filling and with vegetables! :)   Until next time...xoxo

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