For those of you in the United States, I hope you had a wonderful holiday this past Thursday. As I stated in my preview, I find this week's #SundaySupper theme of Veggies As A Main refreshing because it could have easily contributed to the noise of Thanksgiving leftover ideas.
I last made a point of addressing the topic of vegetarian dishes earlier this year when I had the opportunity to work with Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg to promote their most recent book, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. In it, Ms. Page makes a strong case for those that have chosen to eat a plant-based diet be it environmental, medical or ethical reasons and I highly recommend it even for meat eaters because it is helpful in dish composition.
Inspiration Behind the Dish
As I looked over my previous posts, I have found many vegetarian dishes here. Many are salads but I would estimate more are Italian primi dishes, which is the case here. I actually find it difficult to incorporate meat into pasta dishes unless we're discussing fillings. Costs aside, flavor is considered first when choosing the ingredients to use in a dish, then whether or not the dish is in season before science (i.e. yeast to make bread, deglazing with fluid, etc.). Since butternut squash is in season, I decided to use it in a risotto dish. The Vegetarian Flavor Bible listed butternut squash as pairing well with risottos, sage and nutmeg which is how I composed this dish.
I adapted Ree's recipe to the fried sage leaves found on epicurious.
Vegetable oil for frying
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
5 to 7 cups chicken stock, brought to a low simmer in a saucepan
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1. Fry the sage. In a small saucepan or small skillet, add enough vegetable oil to achieve a depth of 1/2-inch and place over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the sage in batches, 3 to 4 leaves at a time for 5 seconds each, removing them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate, then season with kosher salt. Set aside to cool. This can be done a day ahead. Once cool, store the leaves in an airtight container.
2. Prepare the squash. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add in the squash cubes, then season with salt and pepper. Sweat the squash until lightly browned and tender but not falling apart. Remove the squash from the skillet to a bowl, set aside and reserve.
3. Apply the risotto method in the same skillet where the butternut squash was prepared by following the method in step two of a risotto I published previously.
4. Finish the dish. Once the rice is al dente, stir in the reserved butternut squash, crème fraîche, parmesan and nutmeg using more or less crème fraîche until the desired consistency has been achieved. Adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. Serve in warmed bowls garnished with the sage leaves.
With the holiday this week, I didn't get the opportunity to perfect the dish because the night I prepared it, I added too much crème fraîche. Mrs. Stuntman also thought the dish was too sweet so I'll need to play around with spices to balance out the flavors.
Meanwhile, please view these other dishes offered for this week's #SundaySupper:
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan by The Crumby Cupcake
- Butternut Squash Kale Lasagna by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Butternut Squash Portobello Tacos with Garlic Sage Cream Sauce by Daily Dish Recipes
- Butternut Squash Risotto with Crème Fraîche and Fried Sage Leaves by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Easy Veggie Bake by Confessions of a Cooking Diva
- Eggplant Rollatini by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Eggplant Rollatini by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Flourless Oatmeal Nutella Pumpkin Muffins by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Grandma Pizza with Dried Tomatoes by Get the Good Stuff!
- Greek Stuffed Baked Zucchini by The Weekend Gourmet
- Harissa-Roasted Vegetables with Couscous by Caroline’s Cooking
- Moroccan-style Lentil Chickpea Stew by Food Lust People Love
- Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tart by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Polenta with Aged Gouda, Chard & Wild Mushrooms by 30A Eats
- Portobello Stack by The Freshman Cook
- Pumpkin Cake Cheesecake by gotta get baked
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Roasted Potato and Spinach Soup by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Shiitake Mushrooms with a Balsamic Glaze Over Polenta by Fearless Dining
- Stuffed Butternut Squash by Life Tastes Good
- Vegan Sandwich with Fresh Veggies by Healing Tomato
- Vegetable Pizza by Feeding Big and more
- Vegetable Strudel by Palatable Pastime
- Vegetarian Chili by Wholistic Woman
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.