Suddenly December is here. We love to get in the proverbial spirit early with lights and decorations. However since our artificial tree stopped working last year we have another few days to go until our trip to the tree farm. We can’t wait for the delicious smell of a fresh tree to fill the house once again.
December always means extra cooking and baking. It might be homemade candy for friends or cooking for a party. Either way it seems like we are always in the kitchen. Our dishes seem to always be out, and the kitchen in a happy mess.
Butternut Squash Risotto recipe is simple, seasonal, and worthy enough to serve to upcoming holiday guests. Not to mention it is totally gluten-free. This risotto has a homemade pumpkin seed meringue brittle topping, which gives this dish an amazing finish. Just remember to leave enough for your guests. It is quite delicious.
Butternut Squash Risotto
3/4 cup chives, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp. chopped thyme
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup chopped butternut squash
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 cups organic chicken broth
Pumpkin Seed Brittle – for garnish
Combine butter and oil in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add chives, oregano, and thyme and sauté until tender and fragrant.
Add rice, squash, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of chicken broth. Bring to boil, and then simmer on medium-low, stirring frequently. When most of the broth has been absorbed, add another ½ cup of broth. Continue in this manner until all broth is absorbed.
Serve sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds, or pumpkin seed meringue brittle.
Pumpkin Seed Meringue Brittle
3 egg whites at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. hot chili powder
Beat egg whites to a stiff peak. Fold in the remaining ingredients and spread on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 200 degrees F. for 2 1/2 hours. Turn off heat and leave in oven for 12 hours. Remove from oven and crumble into large chunks.
Brittle is fragile, so will absorb moisture easily. It makes a light snack, and a wonderful garnish for butternut squash recipes. Sprinkle on your dish just before serving.