is a rich and satisfying dish for the winter. This version highlights a couple ingredients that are local, seasonal
favorites. The best part is that risotto can be made with fairly healthy ingredients and still taste like an indulgence.
(serves 4-6 adults)
1 very small (or ½ a larger) butternut squash
2 ½ c . mushrooms coarsely chopped (Wild mushrooms are great,
but button mushrooms will do too.)
1 c. onion sliced in thin strips
1 c. onion diced
3 ½ T. butter or olive oil
2 t. fresh thyme (or 1 t. dried thyme)
2 c. Arborio rice
7-8 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 c. dry white wine (can be omitted if necessary)
chopped fresh parsley
Roast the veggies:
can be done up to a few hours ahead and let stand at room temp)
Preheat the oven to 400 f. Cut the squash in quarters, removing the seeds. Place
shell side up in a rimmed baking sheet. Add 1/4” of water to the pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake
squash for about 45 min or until tender when pierced with a fork. While the squash bakes, toss the mushrooms and onion
strips with 1 ½ T melted butter (or oil), thyme, ½ t. sea salt, ½ t. black pepper. Toss the mixture
onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 35 minutes or until golden.
Cook the Risotto:
In a large heavy saucepan, cook the diced onion in 2 T of butter
or oil over low heat until soft. Meanwhile simmer the broth over medium heat. Add the rice to the cooking
onions and stir for a few minutes over medium heat until you can see a white dot in the center of each rice grain.
Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed. Then add the hot broth 1 cup at a time, stirring continuously. Once
you’ve added about 6 cups of broth, begin to test the risotto. Once the texture of the grains is tender, but still
firm, stop adding broth and remove the risotto from the heat. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. (For extra decadence,
you can stir in ½-1 c parmesan cheese.)
The Final Step:
Cut the squash in to small cubes, discarding the shell. Stir
the squash and the mushroom onion mixture into the creamy risotto. If you like you can reserve a few veggies to garnish
the top. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve. This
dish is great with a simple salad.
Bountiful Beet Soup
Recipe by Julie Caruso RD, CD
ipe is a perfect celebration
of the winter season. Beets are an excellent source of folate and are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. They
also contain high amounts of beta carotene, an important antioxidant that helps fight numerous diseases. Beets are also
cleansing and can help to detoxify your body and strengthen the immune system.
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 c. vegetable or chicken broth
2 c. water
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
3 beets, peeled and cut into 2"x 2" cubes
1 turnip, cubed
1 sweet potato, cubed
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 T. basil
2 c. spinach Heat the oil
in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add remaining ingredients except
spinach and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 15-20 minutes or until beets and potatoes are tender.
Remove half of the beets and most of sweet potatoes and turnips and
set aside in a bowl. Place the remaining contents in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. (You may have to
do this in 2 or 3 steps depending on the size of your blender-remember that hot liquids expand! Use caution. Fill
only about ½ full and repeat. Add blenderized mixture back into pot. Add spinach and simmer for 5 minutes.