Savory Risotto with Squash and Cranberries

Before I made this recipe from one of my vegan cookbooks, I think I’d had risotto only once or twice in my life. But I knew that my wife was a big fan, and this recipe seemed decent, so I thought I’d take a crack at it. And WOW. I’m so glad I went for it! The original was from Isa Does It, but I’ve adjusted it to remove oil and simplify the instructions, as well as make it bit less expensive (most risotto is made from Arborio rice, which is pretty pricey).

While this may appear to be a long process, its really not too bad once you get started. If you’re looking to save time, you can even roast the squash the day before and store it covered in the fridge.

Oh yeah, and it’s freakin’ amazing! The whole family raved about it. I hope yours does too!

Note: Next time I make this, I’ll try it with brown rice and if it works out, I’ll update the recipe to keep it completely WFPB. Since this was the first time I was making risotto, I didn’t want to stray from the recipe that much with such a main ingredient!

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Savory Risotto with Squash and Cranberries

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Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
*I recommend using a flavorful vegetable broth for this (I used Better than Bouillon) rather than cooking stock.

What you'll need

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 ½ cups sushi rice, uncooked
  • cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups vegetable broth, warm and divided*
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

How you'll do it

  • Preheat oven to 425° and line a baking sheet with parchment. Spray lightly with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • Cut acorn squashes in half. Scoop out seeds and stringy pieces and discard. Place squash halves, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork but not mushy. When done, remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, peel and roughly dice squash. Set aside.
  • While squash is cooking, sauté onion, garlic, and ginger in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat with a tablespoon of wine to prevent sticking.
  • When soft, stir in the rice. This should dry things up. Add the rest of the wine to deglaze, stirring, and then add a cup of the vegetable broth and the salt.
  • Stir very often until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Continue adding broth, a cup or two at a time, stirring frequently, until only a cup of broth remains. This will take about 35-45 minutes.
  • Add the squash and cranberries to the pot, as well as the final cup of broth. Stir everything in and continue to cook.
  • When most of the liquid is absorbed, add the nutmeg, cinnamon, lime juice, maple syrup and coconut milk. Stir well.
  • Cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until you get the consistency you like. Adjust salt to taste.
  • Serve with crushed red pepper if desired. Enjoy!

Did you make this? Well, what did you think? Leave a comment and let me know how it came out, or if you have a question about the recipe, fire away!

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