I liked mine better than the original.
I was just thinking about that sandwich earlier this week and wondering why I haven’t made it in such a long time.
I need to add it to my list of “Need to Make Soon” foods. I’m not kidding. I have a list and it’s loooong.
At the wedding, we were treated to a buffet of:
- Salad (made by my mother-in-law Jan)
- Hummus Platter with Fresh Vegetables
- Cilantro Pesto Sauce
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip
- Fingerling Potatoes with Roasted Garlic, Chive, Tarragon and Truffle Oil
- Butternut Squash Risotto Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Coulis (this was my absolute favorite!)
- And last, but not least, cubed marinated tofu with some kind of sauce on it. I don’t know what it was called, but it was good.
Everything was wonderful, but, OH, those butternut squash risotto cakes with roasted red pepper coulis! I’ve been thinking about them ever since. They’ve been at the very top of my “Need to Make Soon” list ever since the wedding. Now, I can finally cross them off because I have succeeded in making a nearly identical copycat recipe. They might even be better than the original.
(Here they are, in the bottom, right of this photo):
Today, I used the cold leftover risotto to make those cherished risotto cakes. The traditional way of cooking them is to fry them in oil. But, in an effort to reduce the fat content, I decided to throw caution to the wind and coat them in panko bread crumbs, then bake them. The outcome was beyond spectacular.
So, without further ado, I present to you two new recipes with a delicious variation on the second recipe…
Butternut Squash Risotto
- 3 cups roasted butternut squash (directions below)
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 4 cups (1 quart) vegetable broth (you can use low sodium if you prefer)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup dry white wine (optional–if you don’t use wine, add another cup of vegetable broth)
- 1/2 cup shallots, minced
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 2 Tbsp. grapeseed or olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- 1 Tbsp. Earth Balance
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (nooch)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- nutmeg, to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut a medium to large size butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and pulp. Place squash skin side down on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook 50 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes. It’s done when you can pierce it easily with a fork.
Remove from the oven and scoop the flesh out with a spoon. Chop with a knife and set aside.
Bring vegetable broth and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then reduce heat to low.
Put oil and Earth Balance in a medium skillet on the stovetop and heat over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and stir for 5 minutes. Add rice and stir for 3 minutes more.
Add the wine, stirring occasionally, until it cooks out completely, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of broth and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid is almost absorbed.
Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring each time until almost completely absorbed.
When you have about 2 cups of broth/water left, stir in the squash. When you have about 1 cup of broth/water left, stir in the nooch, sage, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Allow to cook down until the liquid is almost completely absorbed and serve. (I used low-sodium vegetable broth, 1 tsp. Celtic sea salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and a dash of nutmeg.)
**The process of adding broth and stirring until it cooked down took about 35 minutes.
Refrigerate the leftovers and the next day you can make risotto cakes. Trust me–you’re going to want leftovers so you can make these:
Baked Butternut Squash Risotto Cakes
**and a variation called Stuffed and Baked Butternut Squash Risotto Cakes
Makes 8 risotto cakes
- 1 cup leftover Butternut Squash Risotto, cooled completely
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- nonstick cooking spray
- a bowl of warm water and 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- *The variation below also uses approx. 3 Tbsp. Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds or Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Flip them over and bake for another 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
In the photo below, the six on the left are very similar to Sugar Plum’s risotto cakes. The two on the right are the Daiya stuffed risotto cakes and are a new favorite of mine.
Start by dipping a heart shaped cookie cutter in the water/oil and placing it on a plate. Then fill the cookie cutter up about halfway and press the risotto down to make it firmer. And, if you choose to, add some Daiya cheese and cover with more risotto. Then, put your hand on top of the cookie cutter and turn the plate over to loosen the heart from the plate. Put the cake into the panko crumbs and slide the cookie cutter off. Cover the tops and sides with crumbs and carefully transfer to the baking sheet. Cook the same amount of time. Perfect for Valentine’s Day.