Time for some comfort food. It has been a pretty warm and sunny winter here, and with less than an inch of snow thus far you would think I wouldn't need much hibernating comfort food to get by. Well, I don't think I am suffering from seasonal depression, but some days you just need a little extra warmth from your kitchen and food. I love a warm gooey risotto with lots of flavor and the extra bonus is that this risotto doesn't need any cheese or cream to make it scrumptious. The creamy squash and coconut milk make it absolutely divine.
1 medium to large sweet or yellow onion, finely chopped
1 TB of finely minced fresh garlic
2-3 TB of olive oil
4 cups of buttercup squash puree (butternut or pumpkin squash could be subs here)
1 can of full fat coconut milk (or use half of the can if you want to lower the calories)
6-7 cups of vegetable broth or homemade stock
2 ts. of wheat-free tamari sauce
cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste (start with 1/2 ts. of each)
2 cups of sweet short-grain brown rice ( I used Lundberg's)
3-4 TB of fresh thyme leaves
2-3 ts. of dried Italian herb blend (or use fresh herbs: oregano, basil, sage, margoram)
In a large pot (8 quart), saute the chopped onion and minced garlic in olive oil. Then when soft add the squash puree, coconut milk, broth, and tamari. It will look like you are making a soup and then you will add the rice and herbs. The amount of herbs you use may vary on your own liking. I like it full of herbs so I go a little bit overboard. Then stir and cover until it comes to a boil. Then turn down the heat and stir every few minutes until the rice is completely cooked and the liquids have been soaked up by the rice. This will take about 45-50 minutes completely. You do not need to constantly stir, but you do need to keep the heat lower and a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't cook too quickly or burn. Then when the rice is cooked through, turn off the heat and let the risotto sit and cool for 10-15 minutes. This remaining time with really thicken it up. Then stir well and serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh herbs, pine nuts. If you like dairy, then a sprinkle of some Parmesan cheese would be fabulous as well.
Now, serve and enjoy. This dish is so simple and yet so decadent. It almost seems like it should be dessert, which is a good thing if you are trying to avoid desserts, sugar or sweet treats. A sweet and savory combo really hits the spot.
Hope you have a warm and cozy Monday.
Much love to you!