I love fall and pretty much everything about it. The air is crisp and comfortably chilly, the colors are warm, the food is wonderful and Thanksgiving is in the near future :). Some of my favorite falls foods (and I'm sure many of yours as well) are pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potatoes. All orange, all hard, all delicious.
So to celebrate the beginning of fall and its produce, I wanted to make something perfectly seasonal. And wow, did this hit the spot. I know it's quite a bit more indulgent than the recipes/food I usually post (and eat, for that matter) but indulging once in awhile is fine by me, as long as it's worth it. And yes, if you were wondering, this is definitely worth it.
I don't know if you know this, but risotto is like savory pudding. It's amazing. I could hardly keep my fork, or spoon (or hand?) out of this risotto; it was that good. The fried sage is the perfect garnish too; it allows for a slight crunch and a concentrated earthy kick to this supremely creamy and utterly heavenly dish.
You will thank me for this.
Butternut Squash Risotto with Fried Sage
Serves 4, generously
Adapted from both Just Vegging Out and Simply Recipes
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
~ 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for frying
extra sage leaves for frying and garnish
Melt 2 tbsps butter in a large saucepan. Add onions and squash cubes and sauté until squash is tender and slightly mashable. Lightly mash some pieces with your spoon.
Heat broth in a medium pot. In a large pot heat 1 tbsp butter until melted. Add the rice and stir until all the grains are coated. Add the squash and onion mixture and stir until combined. Then add 1/2 cup of the wine and cook until almost fully absorbed.
With a ladle, begin adding hot broth until the rice is just covered. Let the broth evaporate/ absorb into the rice and add more until just covered. Repeat this process until the broth has been used up.
To fry to the sage, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Gradually tilt the skillet so the hot oil pools on one side and add 5 or so sage leaves (per batch). Stir until they turn just a shade lighter and crisp up (about 30 seconds). Transfer to paper towels to drain. Continue to fry in batches until you have your desired amount.
In the last few minutes of cooking the risotto, add the remaining 1/4 cup of wine and stir until absorbed. Then add the Parmesan and stir. Garnish with fried sage. Devour.