Butternut Squash Risotto With Crispy Fried Sage
Risotto is one of the most-loved rice dishes out there. It's rich and creamy without feeling heavy, and there are so many different variations of risotto that can be made to showcase different seasonal flavours.
This risotto recipe features our Top Tomato butternut squash and some beautiful organic crispy fried sage to really celebrate the flavours of Fall.
Risotto can be an intimidating dish to some people because it is notoriously easy to mess up. Overcook the rice, and you're left with more of a rice pudding than a risotto. Over stir it, and you lose that creamy, rich texture risotto is famous for. However, if you understand the reasoning behind the steps in risotto's cooking process, it becomes a lot easier to get it right.
This recipe will guide you through a few tips to keep in mind when you're cooking your risotto and help make sure your end result is creamy, delicious and packed with the sweet and nutty flavours of butternut squash.
Tips for Making Risotto
Use Hot Stock or Water
Make sure to use hot water or stock. Adding cool water or stock to your risotto will cool everything down and mess up the cooking process. You'd never dump pasta in cold water, so make sure your water or stock you're adding to your risotto is nice and hot. After you've brought it to a boil, keep it simmering.
Add Your Stock or Water Slowly
Don't add all your stock or water at once. It's important to follow the instructions and only add your stock or water a half cup at a time, otherwise you're just boiling the rice, which is not going to yield a creamy risotto! By adding the stock or water slowly, a half cup at a time, you allow the rice to rub up against each other, and it's this friction that creating that releases starch from the rice and makes a creamy risotto.
Give Your Risotto a Break from Stirring
Stir regularly, but not constantly. When you stir your risotto, you're adding air to the rice, cooling it down, which can make it somewhat gluey in texture. But, if you don't stir your risotto enough, the rice will not release all their starch, which gives risotto its creamy texture and your rice could burn to the bottom of the pan. So, make sure to stir your risotto often, but feel free to give yourself and your risotto a bit of a break.
Cook Your Rice to Al Dente
The rice should be cooked to al dente, you don't want your rice to be mushy so make sure to taste test it as you're cooking.
Save Any Additions of Fat for the End!
Add your cheese at the very end once your risotto is done cooking, otherwise the fats might separate when cooking on the heat and you'll be left with a greasy mess.
- 1 cup Lenberg Farms Arborio Rice
- 1/2 roasted Top Tomato butternut squash, diced into 1/2" cubes
- 2 x August's Harvest shallots, diced
- 2 x cloves August's Harvest garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 cups water, chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1 cup grated Monforte Toscano cheese
- 3 tbsp salted Golden Dawn butter
- 6 x Mike & Mike's organic sage leaves
Before You Start Your Risotto!
Roast your butternut squash before you get started with your risotto. To roast, preheat your oven to 375°F. Peel and cut your butternut squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and then cut each squash half in half again. Cut each quarter into 3 smaller pieces (so you will have 12 pieces total). Brush the squash with some olive oil and place in the oven to roast for 35-45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool until you can handle it comfortably. Cut into 1/2" cubes and set aside.
Start Preparing Your Risotto
Bring 5 cups of water or stock to a boil.
In a deep dish frying pan or Dutch oven, heat up your remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add your diced shallots to the pan and sauté until soft and translucent, about 2-5 minutes. Add your minced garlic and let cook until fragrant, about a minute.
Add the rice to the pan and cook until the rice starts to brown a little bit, stirring regularly for about 5 minutes. Add the dry white wine to the pan and let it cook until evaporated, stirring continuously.
Add your butternut squash cubes to the pan. Your squash will continue to cook and break down as the risotto cooks and result in a beautiful creamy risotto!
Add your hot water a half cup at a time to your risotto and stir continuously until the water or stock is evaporated after each addition. This is key to cooking your rice properly, yielding a tender and creamy risotto, and the whole process will take about 20-25 minutes.
Once you've incorporated all your water and it has evaporated after the last addition, taste one of your rice kernels. The rice should still be a little al dente in the centre, but still fully cooked. You don't want to cook your risotto longer than 25 minutes or you'll risk overcooking the rice and it will just become a savoury rice pudding.
Remove your risotto from the heat and add in your cup of grated Monforte Toscano cheese. This cheese is a fantastic local substitute to Parmesan cheese used in traditional risottos!
Season with salt and pepper as needed after adding the cheese (this cheese is fairly salty so you don't want to season before this step!).
Lastly, In a small pot, heat your butter on the stove and add your sage to fry it. Once crispy and the butter has browned, remove from the pot and roughly chop. Plate your risotto and sprinkle some fried sage over top and garnish with some shaved pieces of Toscano and a light drizzle of the sage brown butter if you wish!
Did You Try This Recipe?
If so, we'd love to see your finished product of your Butternut Squash Risotto With Crispy Fried Sage! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram at @themarketat100kmfoods.