Butternut Squash and Beet-green Risotto with Basil

You wouldn’t know it because I haven’t been posting, but I actually have been cooking this month. Nothing fancy though, because I not only moved, but also hosted and catered a wedding reception at my dad’s old/my new house! (I guess the wedding luncheon counts as fancy– I’ll have recipes as soon as I receive the photos).

Having finally gone to Whole Foods last week to stock up on grains from the bulk isle, I wanted to experiment with brown rice risotto– something I had never tried before. Although it takes a bit longer to cook than regular risotto, the results absolutely warrant the investment. The risotto was rich without the addition of cream or butter, and with only scant cheese. If you can get fresh basil, definitely do it– it adds a lot of the flavorof the dish. The method I used is Mark Bittman’s.

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Ingredients

1 cup short grain brown rice

4 cups veggie broth, kept warm on the stove

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

olive oil

1/2 cup white wine

1 bunch beet greens, washed, stemmed, and roughly chopped

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed

parmesan cheese, to taste

fresh basil

Method

boil several cups of water and cook the rice for 15 minutes without stirring

meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and blanch the beet greens. rinse and set aside.

saute the onion in olive oil in a wide and deep saute pan

when the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, drain and add to saute pan with onions. Stir, coating the rice, and cook for 5 minutes.

add the white wine, stirring.

when the wine has cooked off, start adding broth by the quarter cup. Stir until broth is absorbed, and continue adding.

after you’ve added a few rounds of broth, stir in the cubed butternut squash and beet greens, stirring.

(the broth-addition portion of the recipe takes the longest– be patient, the rice will absorb more broth than you may think. The squash also needs ample time to cook).

once the squash is cooked and the rice has absorbed most or all of the broth, grate parmesan over the risotto, garnish with fresh basil, and serve.

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