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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Holiday Essence

Just to clarify and make sure you don't think we've became a vegetarian blog (although there are quite a few I read and regularly enjoy) I thought I'd share a dish that perhaps illustrates best the approach that we're taking to what Daniel mentioned in his previous post. I've titled the post just the essence because it shows how little of something we can use and still find a delicious and satisfying tribute to the holidays. 

The idea for the dish was a little bit of an accident. I was making myself dinner one night during the week when Daniel had to work and thought I was thawing some leftover soup. As a finished thawing and warming it up, I realized that what I had accidentally thawed instead was the remnants of the turkey stock we made after Thanksgiving. I decided to keep it in the fridge for a day, hoping to come across a use for it that would provide a veggy heavy tribute to holiday indulgences. While looking across our newest cookbook, Peter Berley's The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, I came across a recipe for an Autumn Quinoa Risotto with Pumpkin and Sage. Obviously, its no longer autumn, but I decided a winter squash or butternut squash might work out okay.

To my delight, not only did the squash substitute work out perfectly, but the addition of the quinoa in the risotto made the dish exceptionally filling without becoming too starchy. The balance between the protein rich quinoa and the arborio rice, combined with the squash, turkey broth, and sage flavors made the dish a satisfying reward for a long January day. 

Quinoa Risotto with Butternut Squash adapted from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen

 4-5 Cups Stock
Olive Oil to Coat the Pan
1/2 Cup Leek finely chopped (white part)
2 Cups cubed butternut or winter squash
1/2 Cup Arborio Rice
1/3 Cup Quinoa
2 Tbsp Mirin
4 Finely choopped Sage Leaves
Salt & Pepper
Toasted Pumpkin or Large Squash Seeds

1. In heavy saucepan, bring stock to boil and reduce heat to simmer.
2.In saucepan over medium heat, warm oil and saute leek for 2 minutes. Add squash and saute another 3-4 minutes. Add rice & quinoa grains and suate, stirring for 2 minutes until grains are fragrant.
3. Add mirin and sage and cook until dry. Ladle in broth or sotck 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid has been absorbed before adding each subsequent 1/2 cup. Repeat until grains are tender and creamy 20-25 minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Add salt & pepper to taste. Plate with toasted pumpkin or squash seeds to garnish.


Drick said...

goodness, bet this is incredible...satisfying and savory

Anonymous said...

This quinoa risotto sounds lovely and I love the addition of butternut squash!

Jennie said...

This sounds wonderful! Healthy and satisfying. I cant wait to try it!

Divina Pe said...

What a beautiful dish. The combination is just perfect without being too heavy from the arborio rice.

Cajun Chef Ryan said...

Love toasted pumpkin seeds, adds a delightful crunchy texture to the soft squash. I like the seeds shelled first!

Peter said...

Hey Daniel and Dawn,

Great to see you've made a lovely impromtu supper from the Modern Vegetarian Kitchen and improved it no doubt with your turkey stock, Bravo!

best wishes to you both,

Peter Berley

Chef Aimee said...

I really like that you incorporated seeds into this. They are so flavorful and give a nice crunch!

Cinnamon-Girl♥ said...

Just hearing risotto and squash makes my mouth water! How creative to use quinoa and risotto. It sounds excellent!

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