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Healthy, Hot & Delicious Lemony Butternut Squash & Mushroom Risotto

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 This weekend was Colin’s birthday and we had dinner with friends at one of our favorite restaurants, Bolla. The food, as always, was fantastic, along with the great service and ambiance. The one dish that stuck out most in my mind was this amazing risotto topped with the most perfectly poached egg on top. The most fantastic part was how when you cut into the egg, the succulent yolk spilled out luxuriously all over the risotto and added a rich, shiny, creamy quality to the dish. Sooo, delicious!
So, today, I wanted to take a stab at something similar to this dish, but a healthier rendition. Risotto? Healthy? Risotto is such a rich dish, that I wasn’t sure it would be possible. However, I read around a bit and came up with the following recipe to make a very delicious, satisfying, healthy, and surprisingly healthy dish!
Also, I totally forgot to pick up Arborio rice, but I read that main difference about this rice is that it’s starchier. I only had asian rice at home, but it is starchier so I gave it a try and it worked out great.
I’ve never made risotto before, but this turned out great and was actually quite easy even it took some patience.
Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups rice – Arborio or Japanese
  • 3-4 cups fat free/low sodium chicken broth (i used my homemade one)
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • about 5 or 6 sage leaves
  • handful of cilantro
  • 8 oz package of mushrooms
  • olive oil
  • salt

Steps:

  1. Turn oven on to 400 degrees
  2. Peel & cube the butternut squash into 3/4 inch cubes. Toss with some olive oil and salt and spread on a foil lined baking pan. Put into the oven for 25 minutes.
  3. Mince the garlic, chop the onion, chiffonade the sage, coarsely chop the cilantro, chop the mushrooms
  4. Heat the chicken broth to a medium hot in a small pot.
  5. Heat some olive oil in a larger pot. Add the garlic & onion and stir to cook until onion is translucent.
  6. Add the rice into the pot and stir quickly for about 1 minute. Add the broth about 1/2 a cup at a time. Stirring to distribute and then letting the rice soak up the broth. Keep doing this until the broth is used up. The process should take about 1/2 an hour.

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Here’s the rice fresh into the pot.
7. Grate the zest of 1 lemon and get the juice of the lemon into the pot.
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8. Remove the squash from the oven when it is done & set aside
9. While cooking the rice, sautee the the mushrooms in some olive oil with a dash of salt til they are cooked down some. Add the squash and toss to combine. Turn off the heat.
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10. Once the risotto is cooked, the texture should be thick & creamy. Kind of amazing how rich it tastes with no cream or cheese! Add the squash & mushroom mixture to the rice and stir to combine and continue cooking about 5 min.
11. Turn heat off and add the sage & cilantro and stir to combine.
Now you are almost ready to eat! The final step is the poached egg on top that will take this dish up quite a few notches.
Have you ever poached an egg? There are lots of tips out there. This is what I did and it worked out awesomely.
1. Heat water  & 1 TB vinegar in a pot (enough to cover the egg) to boiling
2. Once boiling, turn down the heat to low.
3. Spin the water into a vortex.
4. Carefully crack an egg and drop it into the center of the vortex and watch the egg cook!
5. Cook for 3 min for a medium egg. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and towel off with a paper towel. There you have it! A perfectly poached egg to happily perch on top of your risotto!
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(I also made some chicken stir fried with lemon pepper, lemon juice, brocolli, and zucchini)
Now for the best part…cut open that egg and unleash the magic!
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Yummm! Wow, that is one sexy egg & risotto!
Hope you guys enjoy this dish. Grated parmesan would certainly add some fun to this dish, but it is not even necessary b/c the risotto is so thick and creamy just as it is.