Don't you love Christmas time? It's the best part of winter, because we are obliged to wear ugly sweaters and sit around fireplaces with hot chocolate. The following recipe is one that I want to eat every Christmas, because it involves three of my favourite things!
Risotto, check again!
Anything from the oven, yes!
I am very lucky to have an amazing family and second family that makes delicious food that I get to enjoy as well. However I can imagine that it would be a lot more difficult when the people you spend Christmas with aren't that open minded about what types of food are put on the table.
My advice is to take your own food, cook something delicious and bring enough for everybody. It works for any other occasion, I often bring food to various other parties (because I am not surviving on lettuce and bread alone), so why not Christmas dinners. Actually when I was little everybody in my family made one dish, and I made a vegetarian dish (when I was little I ate vegetarian not vegan) for myself and other people to share. My cousin became a vegetarian as well about a year later (because of my cooking, for sure! HA).
I feel like this Risotto Squash is a perfect dish to take with you and share. You can make it in advance and just pop it in the oven to get warm and slightly brown. It also doesn't resemble meat (no hate to all the Tofurky lovers here, I love that as well), but I am the biggest fan of food that is vegan, not because we designed it to look like meat, but because vegetables are amazing and it wouldn't have needed anything more anyway. Anyways! Hope you have an amazing Christmas and get to eat a bunch of delicious food.
Stuffed Risotto Squash
1 butternut squash
2 cloves garlic
(about) 0,5 liter vegetable stock
1/2 cup risotto rice
1 cup kale
1 carrot (about 1/2 cup when cut)
small handful pistachio (without shell)
* You will also need some rope to tie the squash together
Preheat the oven to 180C (360F). Slice the squash in half and take out the seeds. Bake the squash in the oven for one hour.
Chop onion and garlic and bake in a pan on low heat until glazed and golden (either use oil or water to bake). Boil the vegetable stock (you can make your own or use a stock cube/powder) in a separate pan. Add the risotto to the onion and garlic and stir.
To make risotto: There are different ways to make good risotto, and mine is just one that I prefer. If you have another way that you like better, feel free to use that one.
I add the rice to the pan and wait a little bit for the liquid in the pan to be absorbed by the rice. Then I add a small amount of the vegetable stock, stir and let is simmer. I wait until I can 'push' the rice out of the way and none of the liquid floats back to the empty space. Then I add more vegetable stock and repeat this process. I know I need about half a liter, but it depends on how much water will be dissolved, so if I end up needing more I switch to hot water instead of veggie stock so it doesn't become too salty. When you feel like it's done taste the risotto, it needs to halve a slight bite, but needs to be creamy at the same time.
Finely slice carrot, kale and pistachio. Add to the risotto, bake for another 2 minutes. Take off the heat.
Take the butternut squash from the oven and make the hole a bit bigger by scooping out some of the pulp. Just make sure there is still about 1 cm of squash left on all the sides. Add the pulp to the risotto mixture.
Fill the squash with the mixture (leftovers can be served on the side of the dish) and place the top back on, tie with a rope, sprinkle with some hemp seeds (optional). Place back in the oven for 30 minutes and enjoy.
*I sprinkled some hemp seeds on top, just for looks
Last year we made a whole collection of side dishes and other amazing food. Check them out here: