This was an everything-but-the-kitchen sink kind of recipe–couple of Brussels sprouts here, some carrots over there, butternut squash frozen and ready to use. I whipped up a batch of Autumn Veggie Risotto yesterday because we had the most random produce and veggies in our fridge and freezer. The rainy, cold weather and upcoming football game created the perfect setting for a hearty dish. Risotto is comfort food at its finest. No need for heavy cream or cups of cheese to create a rich meal. The continuous stirring breaks down the rice’s starches to give risotto its gelatinous consistency and creaminess. I stirred in some mascarpone cheese leftover from making vegetable bolognese. The flavors of the vegetables speak for themselves accentuated by Parmesan cheese’s sharp bite.
Ingredients (makes 8 c with 1 c servings).
- 1 T light olive oil
- 1 t minced garlic
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 onion, sliced into half moons
- 4-5 whole Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
- 2 whole carrots, washed, peeled, and mandolin sliced
- 2 c Arborio rice
- 1/2 c dry red wine
- 6-8 c vegetable stock
- 2-3 c butternut squash, cubed into 1″ pieces (how to peel/cube here)
- 1 c frozen peas
- 2 c baby spinach, finely chopped
- 1/2 c parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1/4 c mascarpone (optional)
- 3/4 t salt *
- Freshly cracked black pepper
* NOTE: I made my homemade vegetable stock before making the risotto. Because I did not add any salt to the stock, I added 3/4 t to this batch of risotto. If the vegetable stock already has sodium in it, omit the 3/4 t and season to taste.
- In a large pot, sauté oil, garlic, peppers, onions, Brussels sprouts, and carrots over medium heat until just beginning to brown.
- Mix in rice and stir constantly for about 2 min. Pour in wine and continue to stir until fragrant.
- Meanwhile, heat stock in the microwave until it’s hot and steaming. In 1-2 c increments, add hot broth to dry rice just after you’ve added the wine. Continue to stir constantly over medium heat. Rice should barely simmer.
- Once the broth is absorbed, continue adding hot broth in about 1 c increments as needed and cook for about 30 min until the rice is cooked through and barely al dente.
- After 4 c of broth have been added, stir in butternut squash and frozen peas.
- Once the rice is al dente, add chopped spinach and mix until beginning to wilt. Stir in salt and season with black pepper to taste (see above note).
- Remove the pan from heat, stir in freshly grated Parmesan cheese and mascarpone (optional, but adds a rich creaminess). Thoroughly mix in the cheese before serving.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Adapted from my Vegetable Risotto. Like risotto? Also try:
Nutrition for 1 c of risotto (including mascarpone).
310 calories • 5.8 g fat (18%) • 52.5 g carbs (71%) • 8.4 g protein (11%) • 4.1 g fiber • 6.5 g sugar • 320 mg sodium
* These are estimates based off specific products I used and how I entered ingredients in a fitness tracker. This is completely subjective and used to give a rough nutritional estimate.