If you are a gluten free cook then, like me, you most likely cook a lot (okay that may be an understatement).
To keep it interesting I , first of all, cook with the kids. (Stressful at times yes, but they usually keep things hoping).
The second way I keep things interesting is by trying something new every week.
Sometimes it is as simple as a new salad dressing. Other weeks it will be a whole different style of cooking, like Indian food. Trying new things keeps me entertained in the kitchen and the family entertained around the dinner table.
If you are on a gluten free diet and have not tried risotto, then make today the day.
We never ate it before going gluten free, but after having it at Risotteria in NYC we knew we had to try it.
Risotto is a short –grain rice that is traditionally grown in Italy but is now also grown in California. The most common (and usually most highly recommended) is Arborio. The rice has a white center that remains firm when cooked and a starchy outer layer that absorbs liquid and creates the creamy risotto texture.
It has become a stable in our diet.
It is great as a side dish with marinated steak or salmon, but with a few added ingredients is filling enough to be a main meal when served with just a side salad.
Yes, it involves a little stirring- so recruit some of the rest of the family to jump in and help.
(the sunglasses were to stop the onions from making her eyes tear)
Risotto with Butternut Squash
- 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
- 2 T olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 6 cups GF chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian)
- Large pinch of saffron threads (optional)
- 6 T butter (or Earth balance for CF)
- 2 ounces diced pancetta (omit for vegetarian)
- ½ cup minced shallots (2 large)
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese (omit for CF)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds and cut into ¾ inch cubes. Toss the squash with olive oil, 1 t salt and ½ t pepper and roast on a rimmed baking sheet for 25 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Stir halfway through the cooking time. The squash should be very tender.
Warm the chicken stock in a medium sauce pan on low heat. If you are using saffron, add it to the stock while it warms.
Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and sauté the pancetta and shallots on medium heat for 10 minutes.**
Add the rice and stir to coat, cook for 2 minutes.
Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.
Add ½ cup of chicken stock to the rice and 1 t salt and ½ t pepper.
Stir and simmer until the stock is absorbed.
Continue to add the chicken stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring every few minutes. When the stock is just about evaporated, add more.
Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente. Start checking it after 20 minutes but it usually takes around 30 minutes total.
Remove from heat and add the roasted squash cubes and the Parmesan cheese.***
**Omit the pancetta for a vegetarian dish. You may also substitute bacon.
***Omit Parmesan cheese for casein free.
To make basic risotto, follow the recipe above and leave out the pancetta and squash.
Once you get the basic risotto down, you will find it is very versatile. You can add grated lemon zest and lemon juice right at the very end, or some toasted almonds or pine nuts. Your only limits will be your imagination.
All my recipes are indexed at Gluten Free Mom.com.