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Veg Butternut Squash Risotto with Leeks and Spinach

Butternut Squash Risotto with Leeks and Spinach is a rich and creamy dish that perfectly encapsulates the flavors of fall. This risotto starts with the sweet, nutty essence of butternut squash, which is roasted to enhance its flavor and then pureed or cubed to be stirred into the risotto, lending it a vibrant orange hue and a smooth, velvety texture.

Veg Butternut Squash Risotto with Leeks and Spinach

Ingredients:

• 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup Arborio rice
• 4 cups vegetable broth, kept warm
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoons butter
• Fresh thyme for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

1. Roast the Butternut Squash:
◦ Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
◦ Toss the butternut squash cubes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
◦ Spread them on a baking sheet and roast for about 20-25 minutes, until tender and caramelized. Set aside.
2. Prepare the Leeks and Rice:
◦ In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat.
◦ Add the sliced leeks and cook until they soften, about 5 minutes.
◦ Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
3. Cook the Risotto:
◦ Add the Arborio rice to the skillet and stir to coat with the oil and leek mixture.
◦ Pour in the white wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the wine is mostly absorbed.
◦ Begin adding the warm vegetable broth, one ladleful at a time, stirring continuously and allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next.
◦ Continue this process until the rice is creamy and al dente, about 18-20 minutes.
4. Finish the Risotto:
◦ Stir in the roasted butternut squash and chopped spinach.
◦ Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
◦ Add the Parmesan cheese and butter, stirring until melted and well combined.
◦ Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve:
◦ Spoon the risotto into bowls, garnishing with fresh thyme if desired.
◦ Enjoy this comforting dish with a side of mixed greens or a light salad.

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