When offering my readership recipes over the past 18 months, I have tried to alternate between the uber-simple and more complex foodie projects. This offering is admittedly, the latter. Usually when I work with grains, I keep it super simple: aromatic spices that inspire at the moment, boil, simmer, and walk away. Risotto is not as carefree, especially the whole grain version, but it is a sumptuous offering that is sure to delight and inspire, and hearty enough to serve as a main dish. It is indeed simple to prepare but requires some serious focus and elbow grease. Like making a good bechamel sauce you have to commit to standing stoveside with a wooden spoon and develop consistency. With butternut squash, shitake mushrooms, kale, and black walnuts, it is ideal for warming your your winter belly. To your health!
Prep time: 75 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
2 cups short grain brown rice
1 butternut squash, roasted and pureed, yielding just over one cup*
4-5 cups of veggie broth, heated not boiling
1 medium onion, chopped, yielding one cup
5 leaves of kale, removed from vein, and coarsely chopped, yielding 2 cups
1 cup white wine of choice
1 cup of shitake mushrooms chopped
1 cup of black walnut meal (or chopped walnuts)
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp of fresh sage and rosemary, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1) In a medium saucepan, heat half of the oil and sautee mushrooms over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until almost fully cooked, about 4 minutes. Then fold in chopped kale until it begins to reduce, about one minute. Remove and set aside.
2) In a separate large saucepan, over medium heat, add onions to olive oil and sautee for 3-5 minutes until they turn transluscent.
3) Add rice and sautee until rice toasts and become translucent at edges, about 3-5 minutes. Add wine and herbs and stir frequently until wine is absorbed, about 3 minutes.
4) Ladle in 1/2 cup of warm broth and stir frequently until it is absorbed, about 3-5 minutes. Repeat this process for another 25-30 minutes, until rice is fully cooked through but not mushy.
5) Fold in parmesan and walnuts and allow cheese to melt in. Then follow with squash puree, and kale and mushroom mix. Allow flavors to meld for another minute, throughly mixing.
6) Garnish with extra chopped herbs and walnuts and serve.
*Peel, remove seeds, roast at 400 for one hour and puree in food processor. If this is too involved, substitute with canned pumpkin puree.