Cozy Harvest Risotto. Butternut Squash. Sage. Almonds.

This Cozy Harvest Risotto starts with creamy arborio rice, cooked to risotto perfection, slow-simmered on a stove-top while stirring gently. Then I add in a colorful array of harvest veggies including butternut squash cubes, celery and onions. Accents of sage and thyme. I also fold in some crunchy sliced almonds to complete the plate. A splash of warmed non-dairy milk or creamer over top if desired. For an elegant (surprisingly easy) meal night at home, try this recipe!..

Whenever I go out to eat at a fancy vegan-friendly restaurant and I see risotto on the menu, THAT is what I order. I fell in love with the Butternut Squash Risotto at Gobo in New York City. I loved it. Craved it. I miss it!

It had soft, tender vegan risotto rice accented by butternut squash cubes, sliced almonds and toasted sage. Sound familiar? Well this is my try at re-creating that dish. And I have to say it tastes pretty darn close!!..

Cozy Harvest Risotto
vegan, makes 23-4 servings (depending on how hungry you are!)

1 cup arborio rice
3+ cups of mushroom or vegetable broth

harvest mix:
1 small apple, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, diced
1/2 cup carrot or sweet potato, diced (or use more squash)
1/2 cup celery, chopped
about 1 Tbsp of fresh mixed herbs: fresh thyme + chopped rosemary + chopped sage
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or safflower oil
salt + pepper to taste

1/3 cup sliced almonds
fresh sage
non-dairy (plain) creamer or milk (warmed - optional)


1. In a large saute or sauce pan, add the risotto rice and 1 cup of the broth. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil. When boiling, begin to stir the rice with a large spoon or spatula. Keep stirring casually until the liquid has absorbed. Add in the remaining amount of broth in splashes as you keep stirring - until all the rice has absorbed the liquid. Now do a taste test of the rice. It should be velvety and tender when ready, so if the inside still tastes al dente, add in a few more splashes of broth. Keep adding until the rice is as tender as you'd like it. I like my rice very soft, so I usually add in about 3 1/2 cups of broth.

2. While your rice is cooking, you can do your harvest mix. You can either roast all these ingredients in the over (400 degrees for about 20 minutes) - or you can saute them in 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Whichever method you use, just cook until tender and ready to eat.

3. When both your rice and harvest mix components are cooked, you will not combine them to serve. Per one serving: add 1 cup of the risotto to a saute pan, over medium heat. Add in the almonds and fold well. Add in one fresh sage leaf torn into pieces. Fold well. Lastly, gently fold in 1/2 cup of the harvest mix. Allow to warm a bit then transfer to serving plate. Top with another spoonful of harvest mix and some fresh sage and almonds to garnish! Pepper on top is nice too. Add a splash of warmed non-dairy milk or creamer over top if desired.

This dish is best served on a warmed shallow bowl.

If I make my risotto ahead of time, I plate it on the serving dishes and place them in a warm oven until ready to serve. Then when I serve the dishes, the plates and risotto are still toasty warm. Here is where a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer can help loosen things up if the rice became a bit dry in the oven. Risotto is easy to moisten up though.

A few other favorite Butternut Squash Recipes:

* Ginger Sage Pumpkin Soup (LOVE this)
* Butternut Bliss fall Salad
* Citrus Butternut Squash Dip
* Holiday Citrus Stuffed Squash
* Butternut Squash Party Dip
* Golden Trio Chipotle Fall Soup + Crispy Tofu Cubes

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