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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Second Story: Culinary Creations IV

Quinoa Risotto with Butternut Squash

The third edition to my new Second Story: Culinary Creations is a special 
one to me because, believe it or not, I actually cooked! And by that I 
don't mean added some pasta into a boiling pot and topped it off with 
Prego and shaved Parmesan cheese. I'm talking the real deal. Chopping, 
baking and slaving included. 

The first time I tasted quinoa, I figured since the word risotto followed, 
whatever this was Jesselyn was offering me, I would probably like it since 
risotto and I get along really well. I was right. So right, I had seconds. 
Thankfully, it is a pretty healthy recipe. 

I loved the recipe so much I knew I had to share it with my roommates. 
Immediately, mid bite, I begged Jesselyn to forward me the recipe from 
Cooking Quinoa. Thanks to her, I can now say I love quinoa!

For my first time cooking for the roommates, you'd think I would be 
smart and choose an easy recipe. But, apparently, the smart side of my 
brain wasn't functioning properly that evening. It must have been a rough 
day at the office. Or maybe it was the idea that if I had all the ingredients 
and a bottle of wine on the island when Emma got home, and the 
combination of the pouring rain outside, Emma would totally forget that 
we were supposed to run and climb instead of drink and eat. 

I guess my sneaky plan worked, because she totally went for it! We popped 
open bottle of white, which is also an ingredient in the risotto, and I got 
started chopping my first butternut squash. 

The recipe is a bit labor intensive and does take a skilled multi-tasker, 
which is where Emma came in. But as a team, we were able to make one 
hell of a delicious meal. So delicious, Tess and I finished the leftovers the 
next evening. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. I even sent 
it to my parents! It really is a keeper. 

3 cups of butternut squash, diced
Olive oil spray
Fresh ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
½ cup white wine
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
1 onion, finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1/8 – ¼ tsp cayenne pepper OR Chipotle Chili Powder
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 -6 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh thyme
1 T fresh sage, minced
1 cup thawed frozen peas (we left these out)
3 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 T Walnuts, toasted

Prep: 25 Min
Cook: 30 Min
Overall: 55 Min

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray olive oil on the diced butternut squash 
and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and 
bake for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring broth to simmer over medium heat. Keep warm.

Sauté onion and pepper in olive oil over medium high heat for 8 minutes, 
stirring often. Lower heat to medium. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. 
Add rinsed quinoa and cook 2 minutes more.

Add wine, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook until wine has absorbed and then 
add in just enough vegetable broth to cover. Continue stirring frequently and 
adding broth until all but ½ cup of the broth has been added. This should 
take about 20 minutes.

Add in thyme, sage, peas, goat cheese and remaining 1/2 cup liquid. Stir for 
two minutes and then remove pan from heat. (There will still be a little 
liquid remaining. )

Add in squash and walnuts. Place on a plate and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

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