Butternut Squash and Leek Risotto

For me, risotto is comfort food. I love how the rice starch gives risotto a creamy texture without the addition of butter, milk or cheese. I had some leftover roast chicken, so I added chicken to this recipe, but you could just as easily make it vegan by omitting the chicken and substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth.

makes 4 meal-sized portions

1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
4 sage leaves, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs olive oil
1 leek, chopped (white part only)
1 cup chicken breast, cut in 1/2-inch cubes (optional)
1 cup arborio rice
3/4 cup white wine
3 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Toss squash, sage and garlic in 1 Tbs of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes until squash is tender when pricked with a fork.

2. Sauté leek and chicken together over medium heat in 1/4 cup olive oil. Remove from oil and set aside.

3. Increase heat of pan to medium high. Add rice to the remaining oil, stirring until rice is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add white wine, stirring constantly until wine has mostly been absorbed and a spoon drawn through the rice leaves a trail. Then, add broth one cup at a time, stirring constantly and waiting until each cup has been mostly absorbed before adding the next.

4. When rice is al dente, stir in squash, chicken and leek, stirring until warmed through. Serve warm.

Vegan: omit chicken and substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth


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