Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage Walnut Pesto
BROWN RICE: Rice is a staple in many countries, providing sustainable nutrition and energy. Brown rice is a whole grain, providing far more nutritional benefits than its white counterpart because it contains the bran (husk), germ and endosperm. Due to its high content of manganese, brown rice is a sustained energy source and provides antioxidant protection against free-radicals.
WINTER SQUASH: High in Vitamin A, winter squash, like butternut or delicate, is an important food source for antioxidants like carotenoids that help to fight cancer. Although high in carbohydrates, the carbs in winter squash have antioxidant anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.
Gluten-Free, Dairy Free Option,
2 cups short grain brown rice
4 cups water
5 cups chicken bone broth or chicken stock or vegetable stock
½ butternut squash, peeled and cubed into bite-sized pieces
2-3 tbsp olive oil, separated
1 medium leek, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped sage
1 cup pea milk, milk alternative or cow's milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional,
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
1 cup fresh parsley
3-4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Par-cook the brown rice to decrease your overall cooking time. In a medium sized pot, boil 4 cups water. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add the brown rice and a large pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to med/low and continue to boil for 25 minutes. Then drain any excess water from the pot and set the rice aside.
3. While rice is par-cooking, prep your vegetables. Start by peeling and chopping your squash. Place your squash cubes in a bowl and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place your cubed squash on a sheet pan lined with foil or parchment paper, making sure the cubes have enough room on the pan to spread out onto one layer. Place the sheet pan in the pre-heated oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is cooked through and golden brown.
4. Place a large pot on the stove, and pour the broth or stock into the pot. Bring to a boil.
5. Meanwhile, chop and mince your leek and garlic clove.
5. Heat a large sauté pan to medium heat, add about 1-2 tbsp olive oil to the pan. Add your leeks and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until leeks are translucent and fragrant.
6. Add your brown rice to the sauté pan and mix with leeks. Turn your heat down just a touch to med/low.
7. Transfer about 1/2 cup (or one ladle full) of hot broth or stock to the sauté pan and mix into rice. At this point be very careful not to leave your stove top. Every time the moisture in the pan cooks out and the pan get a bit dry, pull another ladle full of stock from the pot and add it to your rice. You will continue with this process, until the rice is fully cooked.
8. Once the rice is cooked to al dente, turn off your heat and add in your lemon, herbs, milk, and parmesan cheese (if using). Seasoning with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, taste test in case more is needed.
9. Carefully fold in your butternut squash into your risotto rice mixture.
1. Toss all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, adding more olive oil if the sauce is too thick.
2. Serve on the side or on top of the risotto. Store leftovers in the fridge to be used as a pasta sauce, dip or marinade.