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Author Notes: Okay, I know vegan risotto sounds crazy and you're giving me some serious side eye right now but stay with me because butternut squash cashew cream is wonderful and makes this dish just as rich and creamy as risotto should be (if a little thicker). If you like, you can ramp up the flavor with some grated horseradish or nutmeg at the end. —Lily Hughes
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 cup cashews (soaked overnight in water)
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 handful fresh sage
- 1 handful fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup sherry (optional)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 425F. Peel and cube the butternut squash into bite size pieces. Roughly chop the sage. Toss the butternut squash with the sage, 2 tbsp olive oil, cumin, and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until soft.
- Once squash is roasted, remove about 1/3 of the squash (roughly 1 cup) and add this to a food processor or blender. Drain the cashews. Puree the cashews, butternut squash, and paprika. Slowly add the almond milk until the mixture reaches a thick cream consistency. It should be looser than a nut butter but not as runny as heavy cream. Set aside.
- Dice onion and garlic. In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the onions, let soften for 5-8 minutes, then add the garlic. Sauté onions and garlic for 5 - 10 minutes or until they begin to brown. Stir in the aborio rice. Add the sherry and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and then slowly add the vegetable stock, 1/2 a cup at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more.
- Once the rice has cooked through, add the rest of the roasted butternut squash and about 1/2 of the cashew cream. Stir and taste. Add salt, pepper, and the remaining cashew cream to taste. Remove risotto from the heat. Roughy chop the parsley and stir into the risotto. Serve immediately.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Vegan Recipe
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