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Vegan Comfort Food: Butternut Cashew Risotto

I found inspiration via Whole Foods’ website, for a recipe of vegan cashew risotto. The recipe called for a 20-ounce bag of frozen brown rice, which stumped me until last weekend when I figured out how many cups of cooked rice that was (4 cups) and then I was able to make it. In all my laziness I can say I have never bought frozen plain rice. It is pennies to make it and if you bake it, it is stupid-simple. And you can freeze or chill it for later as well.

And yes, I do realize this isn’t a “real” risotto. I am OK with that. After a long day of herding the two smallest and moving my office around, I was happy to have a dinner that took 15 or so minutes to pull together, as I had baked the rice and made the cashew sauce early in the day. Baking the rice ensures the grains are chewy, not soggy, and they are enrobed in the slightly sweet sauce (as I noted below, a hint of hot sauce of choice added at the end is perfect).

Butternutrisotto

Butternut Cashew Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 medium sized butternut squash
  • 1½ cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 batch baked brown rice (see below)
  • 2 tsp rubbed sage
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp dried parsley

Directions:

Cover the cashews with filtered water, soak overnight. Drain and rinse.

Peel and seed the butternut squash, chop into bite size pieces. Add to a tall saucepan, cover with water. Bring to boil, gently boil until tender, about 10 minutes, drain.

Add the cashews, squash, coconut milk, salt and cinnamon to a high-speed blender, process on high until smooth. Pour into a mixing bowl, refrigerate until needed.

Heat a large skillet over medium, add in oil and onion, sauté until tender. Stir in garlic, sage and pepper, sauté for a minute. Add in rice and broth, tossing to coat, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until broth has absorbed.

Add in cashew butternut sauce and parsley, simmer for about 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened up, stirring often. Season to taste with salt – and our preference – a liberal shake or three of hot sauce (Tabasco Chipolte works well).

Serves 4 to 6.

Butternutsquash2

Baked Brown Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups water
  • 1½ cups long grain brown rice
  • Drizzle olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°. Bring water to boil, add it, rice and oil to an 8×8″ glass baking dish, cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Remove, fluff up and let cool a bit before stashing in a large mixing bowl, refrigerate until needed.

Makes about 4 cups cooked rice.

~Sarah

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Comments

  1. coconutandberries says:

    Oh my that looks so delicious. I made a spring risotto and stirred in a tbsp cashew butter which added so much so I can imagine this butternut cashew cream being fabulous.

  2. I forgot how easy it is to bake rice – the last time I made brown rice in my rice cooker, it still came out a bit crunchy. Looks delish!

  3. Yum! I made a risotto too last night and baked it — really love it as an alternative to constantly watching it on the stove. I’ll have to try it with the cashew cream next time.

  4. Chris asked for butternut squash risotto yesterday and I declined because I didn’t want to deal with aborio. Maybe I’ll surprise him tonight or tomorrow with this version. I just need to get some cashews…

  5. I love everything about this! I’m a big rice, squash and cashew fan, and oh coconut milk is my new favorite ingredient. I’ve also never baked rice before and I can’t wait to try. Thanks for another great recipe!
    -Dana

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