Today, I’m showing you how to make this black rice risotto recipe, because everyone needs a great Halloween risotto, right?
Since black rice is not as creamy as short-grain rice, I have a magic tip for how to make sure your risotto using black rice is nice and creamy.
I think you’ll enjoy the roasted butternut squash. The black and orange color combination is great for a savory Halloween side dish, and the flavors work very well together too.
For ease of browsing, here are all of my side dishes recipes in one place.
If you have some risotto leftover, you can use it to make black rice arancini, too!
Thanks for stopping by.
Savory Halloween Treats for Adults
Halloween shouldn’t only be for kids, you guys. I mean, it’s my favorite holiday! If it’s also your favorite holiday but you maybe don’t want tons of sweets (because there are already tons of sweets!), I’m your girl.
I have some spooky Halloween deviled eggs that are deviled up with liquid smoke, horseradish, and Sriracha. So tasty!
I can also offer you some smashed creamer potato Halloween Potato Eyes that are easy to make and fun to decorate with rounds of goat cheese, sliced olives, and Sriracha.
Here are a few more savory Halloween options from some friends of mine:
- Red Lentil Chili with Pumpkin and Black Beans is hearty and suited for Halloween (hello, pumpkin!) As well, it just happens to be vegan and gluten free. Score!
- Monster Eye Asparagus Gruyere Tart would be fantastic any time of year. The eyes are made with cut out circles of provolone cheese with capers as irises!
- Pumpkin Soup with a hint of orange and thyme is a sophisticated, savory, and gluten free take on pumpkin.
- Jalapeno Popper Mummies are super cute, but not too cute to eat, and I love a good jalapeno popper.
- Pumpkin Hummus is made like traditional hummus with the added mellow goodness of pumpkin puree. One of the most addictive dip recipes known to man made seasonal. Yes please!
And now, I bring you this black rice risotto for your grown up Halloween dinner party.
How to Make Risotto Creamy Using Rice That Doesn’t Get Creamy
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!
How to Make Black Rice Risotto (or Risotto in General)
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 a wide, shallow 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.
The first four steps are all about building flavor and getting that flavor inside the grains of rice.
And note that the only reason risotto recipes tell you to cook the rice until just barely crunchy in the center is that it will finish cooking during the 5 minute rest.
Don’t undercook too much and then serve crunchy risotto. That doesn’t help anyone.
What Makes This Black Rice Risotto So Good?
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.
The recipe also uses poultry seasoning in both the risotto itself and the butternut squash.
Using the same seasoning in both recipe components helps to tie the whole dish together.
Can You Reheat Risotto
You can, but the texture is not going to be nearly as dreamy as when it’s fresh. That’s why Italians have been using leftover risotto to make risotto balls (arancini) forever.
Freshly made risotto should sort of flow across a plate like cooling lava, but leftover risotto is stodgy and holds its shape. Still tasty, but not as sexy.
Enough talk. Let’s make some black rice risotto and then garnish it with roasted butternut squash, shall we?
Black Rice Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash
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
- ¾ cup yellow onion , small dice
- 1 large clove garlic (or shallot), minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ 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
- ¾ 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
- ¼ 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."
Did You Make Any Changes?
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Enjoy your creamy Halloween risotto, and have a lovely day.