Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Seitan

This butternut squash risotto was inspired by one of my favorite dishes at a restaurant called Planet X Cafe in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Seitan
Serves approximately 4

1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

5 sage leaves, finely chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups arborio rice
4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

4 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a bowl, toss together the butternut squash, olive oil, sage, salt (about 1 teaspoon), and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon). Place the squash in a baking dish and cook in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the squash becomes soft enough so that it can be mashed with a fork. Set the mashed squash aside.

Heat the vegetable broth in a small pot over medium heat. In a larger pot, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions become become soft, about 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the rice until all the grains are coated with butter. Add the wine and cook until the wine has almost fully evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Using a ladle, gradually (in 1/2 cup increments over the course of 20-25 minutes) add the hot vegetable broth to the pot and stir. (At this time, you should begin making the crispy seitan. See recipe below.) When the broth has almost fully evaporated, add more broth to the pot and stir. Continue this process until the rice becomes tender and creamy but is still al dente.

Finish the risotto by stirring in the mashed butternut squash, grated cheese, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve on plates or in bowls. Top with the crispy seitan strips, garnish with a few sage leaves, and serve. Pass additional grated parmesan at the table.

Crispy Seitan

1 package seitan, cut into strips

Canola oil

Corn Starch (1/2 cup)

Dredge the seitan in the corn starch. Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a pan over medium-high heat and fry the seitan strips. When the strips are browned on all sides, remove them from the pan and set them on paper towels so that any excess oil can be absorbed.


AJ said...

I love the crispy seitan. For those of you cooking vegetarian for people who still eat meat or who miss it, you can tell them the crispy seitan tastes a bit like bacon. Not exactly, but the flavor and the texture are bacon-ish. Without all that fat and grease.

Wendy said...

This was so lovely for a fall day! Thank you!