Butternut Squash Risotto with Peas and Collard Greens
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
Originating in Northern Italy, Risotto is made by cooking rice in broth until its starches break down to create a creamy and unctuous consistency. Though it is a hands-on dish to prepare, it is by no means difficult to make. You will need to exercise a bit of patience (and forearm strength ?), but I promise the results will be worth it.
Our version today uses butternut squash, green peas, and collard greens to amp up the nutrients. This dish is a savory delight with just the right amount of sweetness from the vegetables and brightness from the wine and thyme. Don’t blame us if you don’t have any leftovers!
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (Choose vegetable broth you enjoy the flavor of as it is used as the base for the dish.)
- 2 cups water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup shallot, diced (from about 1 large shallot or 2 small)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups butternut squash, skin removed, seeds discarded, and diced into small cubes (from 1 medium butternut squash)
- 2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp pepper, divided, plus more for serving
- 3/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or an unoaked Chardonnay (choose something you like to drink!)
- 2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
- 4 cups collard greens, roughly chopped, or other dark leafy green such as kale, chard, or spinach (from about 1 bunch greens)
- 1 cup green peas (frozen is great!)
- Optional: parmesan cheese for garnish (regular or this Follow Your Heart alternative)
- Bring 8 cups vegetable broth and 2 cups water to a simmer together in a large pot set over medium heat. It is important to heat the broth as it will allow the rice to cook evenly and will prevent the temperature of the rice from dropping each time you add in broth. (See step 5).
- Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and ½ tsp salt, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the shallot is softened but has not browned. Add in the garlic and cubed butternut squash, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add in the rice and stir to coat with oil. Cook for about 2 minutes. This will prevent the rice from becoming too mushy.
- Pour in the white wine, and cook until the wine has evaporated and almost no liquid remains, about 3 minutes. Season with ¼ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.
- Bring the heat down to medium-low and begin to add broth to the rice in 1 cup increments (use a large ladle and add broth 1 ladleful at a time.) Stirring almost constantly, allow the rice to fully absorb the broth before adding another ladleful. Stirring allows the rice to release its starches and creates the velvety and creamy consistency of risotto.
- Continue to cook in this manner until the rice is al dente (cooked through but still firm when bitten). This step should take about 25 minutes and you should have used the majority of the broth. You might not use all of it, but the final product should be creamy and saucy. Err on the side of more liquid!
- Stir in the collard greens, peas, and thyme, and turn off the heat. The residual heat will wilt the greens and thaw the peas. Taste and adjust by adding in more liquid if it is beginning to dry up, and salt if needed.
- Serve immediately and top each serving with fresh cracked pepper and parmesan if desired.