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Today, I made some spooky black rice risotto for your grown up Halloween party. Or any party, really, because you don’t have to put eyes on it!
Halloween shouldn’t only be for kids, you guys. I mean, it’s my favorite holiday! So, today I bring you black rice risotto for your grown up Halloween dinner party.
My only problem, if you can call it that, is that black rice doesn’t have the same amount of starch that arborio and other “risotto rice” does, so the results aren’t as dreamy and creamy.
Well, I fixed that, friends, by adding in some additional rice starch to add body to the sauce it would have lacked otherwise. The resulting black rice risotto is every bit as silky as traditional risotto with the added benefits of being packed with the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin as well as protein, fiber and a respectable amount of iron.
With the addition of the butternut squash bringing its sweet, mellow flavor to the party along with more fiber, beta carotene and a boatload of Vitamin C, this is one healthy side dish, butter and cheese notwithstanding!
Black Rice Risotto
Enough talk. Let’s make some black rice risotto with roasted butternut squash, shall we? I even made you a long pin in case you’d like to save this guy.
How to Make Risotto
The classic technique for making risotto is straightforward. For some reason, it makes people nervous, but I will tell you right now, nothing awful will happen if you walk away for just a moment. No need to stir obsessively, although some stirring definitely helps to bring out the starches.
Here’s the rundown:
- Heat pan and add fat.
- Saute aromatics.
- Add wine and reduce.
- Add the rice and saute until translucent on the outsides.
- Start adding hot stock, a bit at a time, stirring occasionally until one addition is mostly absorbed before adding more.
- Cook until all stock has been added and the rice is just barely firm in the center.
- Add cheese and fat (butter or oil). Cover and let sit 5 minutes.
To ensure that your forbidden rice risotto is as creamy as risotto made with arborio or carnaroli rice, add a slurry of cold stock and rice starch to your pan after you’ve added about half the stock. That way, you’ll have delicious, creamy risotto even though you’re using black rice, which contains less starch than medium-grain rices. Huzzah!
Need more side dish ideas? Check out my Side Dishes archives!
For the Butternut Squash
- 2 cups diced butternut squash, (about 1/2" dice)
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, , to taste
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
For the Black Rice Risotto
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup yellow onion, , small dice
- 1 large clove garlic, (or shallot), minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 2 cups black rice
- 5-6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth or stock, , heated to steaming
- 2 Tablespoons water or cold broth
- 1 Tablespoon rice flour
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, , to taste as needed
- Additional grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eyes, (I used sliced pickled jalapenos with a bit of Sriracha), totally optional
- 1/4 cup sour cream, (also entirely optional)
For the Butternut Squash
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment or non-stick foil.
- Toss the diced butternut squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.
- Spread onto the pan in one layer.
- Roast for about 30 minutes, tossing the squash twice. When done, squash will be creamy soft all the way through and a bit golden brown on the outsides.
- Keep warm.
For the Black Rice Risotto
- Heat a wide, shallow pan over medium heat until hot.
- Add the butter.
- Once the butter has melted and is sizzling, add the onion, and garlic or shallot.
- Add a healthy pinch of salt and several grindings of black pepper as well as the poultry seasoning.
- Sweat over medium heat until very soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Pour in the wine and balsamic vinegar and reduce until just a bit of liquid remains.
- Add the rice along with a bit more salt and pepper and stir well to coat with the butter/wine mixture.
- Allow the rice to toast in the pan for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
- Begin adding the stock, 1/2 cup at a time and stirring between each addition. Wait 5-6 minutes between additions until the rice has soaked up most of the liquid before adding more.
- After you get most of the stock added, mix together the water or cold stock with the rice flour and stir that into the pot. Continue adding the stock until the rice is barely al dente and is coated with a generous amount of creamy sauce. This will take about 45 minutes. The good news is you don't need to stir constantly.
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese and second amount of butter. Cover the pot and turn off the burner. Let the risotto sit on the stove on the now-off burner for about 5 minutes.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.
- The risotto should flow on a plate like lave and not be stodgy. If it seems a bit thick, stir in a bit more stock to loosen it up.
- Serve either family style or in individual portions by plating some risotto then mounding up some of the squash on top. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and spooky it up by giving it "eyes."
- Half Sheet Pans
- Cuisinart 733-30H Chef's Classic Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Saute Pan with Helper Handle and Cover
- Corelle Livingware 12-1/4-inch Serving Platter, Winter Frost White-3-pack
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1 cup
Amount Per ServingCalories 363 Total Fat 16.6g Saturated Fat 7.4g Trans Fat 0.4g Unsaturated Fat 6g Cholesterol 33mg Sodium 1077mg Carbohydrates 45.9g Fiber 2.6g Sugar 3.1g Protein 8.42g
This is an excellent black rice risotto if I do say so myself. The addition of balsamic works well on a couple of levels:
- it keeps the dish more black than purple
- it adds a hit of acidic sweetness that plays very nicely with the nutty rice and mellowly sweet squash.
Thank you so much for spending some time with me today. Enjoy your creamy black rice risotto, and have a lovely day.