Call me crazy, but I find the act of cooking calming. The act of stirring, cutting, mincing, slicing…it’s rhythmic and almost therapeutic.
I think that’s one of the reasons why I’ve grown to love cooking so much. I can easily lose my thoughts in the dicing of a fresh vegetable or mixing of a great-big bowl of oatmeal. Cooking seriously calms me.
…which is totally ironic being that I come from a passionate Italian family who talks with their hands, who never has a quiet conversation, and who tries to constantly out-do each other through our various cooking endeavors.
Growing up, Italian food was at the forefront of most of my dinners. Whether it be a quick weeknight meal or a big family get-together, you better believe that some sort of cheese, Italian meat, and/or pasta was on the table.
As I grew up, my tastes changed from craving pasta with alfredo sauce or white bread to craving healthier Italian fare like olives, fresh vegetables, and rice. And my favorite Italian dish has quickly become risotto.
I think that I was in Italy the first time I tried risotto. I don’t know if it was me being in Italy, my surroundings, or what, but I could have sworn that the risotto was the single best thing I have ever put in my mouth. The creaminess, the silkiness, the cheesiness…it’s a complete flavor euphoria.
I wanted to recreate my first risotto experience for you here today with a bit of a fall twist. Meet my Easy Fall Vegetable Risotto recipe; it’s the best kind of comfort food for this wonderful autumn season!
This risotto only requires a handful of ingredients, so we’re making sure that we’re using the best of the best.
You’re going to want to start with a bright and flavorful extra-virgin olive oil. I used my one of my favs from DeLallo because its rich olive flavor pairs peeeeerfectly with our fresh fall produce. It coats each fall-flavored nugget with a blanket of rich olivey flavor. I seriously could drink this stuff with a spoon…
…OK, I seriously have drank this stuff with a spoon.
Next up, the vegetation! I eat, sleep, breathe butternut squash this time of year, so I was obligated to throw some into this dish. We also love us some roasted broccoli and sautéed kale in the Fooduzzi household. While these are our favorite fall veggies, feel free to mix it up however you see fit!
Next, the rice. When you’re making risotto, you really need the right kind of rice. Regular brown and white varieties, while delicious, don’t allow you to develop the glorious starchiness of a true risotto; therefore, you’ll need some arborio rice to get the job done. I used DeLallo-brand Arborio Risotto Rice because daaaaang is it delicious. AND it comes vacuum-packed to ensure its freshness on your plate. I’ll take it all, please!
You neeeeed this Easy Fall Vegetable Risotto in your life this fall! Especially at your Thanksgiving dinner!! Could you imagine this veggie-packed work of art arriving at your table all steamy, creamy, hot, and ready to be devoured? I couldn’t imagine a more perfect Thanksgiving feast if I tried.Print
Easy Fall Vegetable Risotto
- Yield: 2-3 servings
- 3 Tbsp. DeLallo Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, divided
- 2 cups small-diced butternut squash
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 32-oz. box vegetable stock (about 4 cups)
- 1/2 vidalia/yellow onion, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup DeLallo Arborio Risotto Rice
- 2-4 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese (vegans can use nutritional yeast!)
- red pepper flakes and/or a pinch of freshly-ground nutmeg (optional)
- 2 handfuls chopped kale
- salt + pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add diced butternut squash and broccoli to the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven until the squash is fork-tender, 20-25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add vegetable stock to a medium saucepan and heat until hot. Reduce to a simmer.
- After the stock is at a simmer, make the risotto. Heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and the diced onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and stir to combine.
- Reduce the heat to low, and add arborio rice and stir to coat in the olive oil (you can add a little more to the pan if needed!).
- Toast rice for a minute or two, then add 1 cup of simmering stock, season with salt and pepper, and stir. The key to a good risotto is nearly-constant stirring because it develops the starch that makes your risotto super creamy and delicious…we’ll be working those arm mussels today!
- When the stock as been mostly absorbed, add another cup of stock, stirring frequently. Repeat this process until your rice is al dente (soft with a little chewiness to it), anywhere from 30-45 minutes. You may not need all of the stock; I only used about 3 and 1/2 cups.
- Add cheese/nutritional yeast to the mixture at the end of cooking. Add red pepper flakes and/or nutmeg if desired.
- About 5 minutes before your risotto is finished cooking, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, kale, salt, and pepper to a skillet. Sauté until kale is tender.
- Assemble your risotto: Add butternut squash, broccoli, and kale to the risotto and mix well. Top with additional cheese and/or freshly-cracked pepper.
A special thank you goes to DeLallo for supplying me with some of their super high-quality products that I love for this recipe! All opinions are my own.
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