Oakes makes this gorgeous risotto with Venere black rice, a naturally black short-grain rice. The glossy grains are especially striking served with the golden butternut squash puree and creamy white burrata.
Slideshow: Rice Pilaf Recipes
Recipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook
1 pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 sage sprig
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground pepper
6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 1/2 cups Venere black rice (see Note)
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 pound burrata or fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into 6 pieces
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for garnish
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine the squash with the sage sprig, 2 tablespoons of the butter and 1/4 cup of water; season with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, until the squash is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Discard the sage.
Transfer the squash to a food processor and let cool slightly. Puree until smooth and season with kosher salt and pepper. Scrape the squash puree into a medium saucepan and keep warm over very low heat.
Meanwhile, in another medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer. Keep warm over very low heat.
In a large saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the onion and a generous pinch of kosher salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until well coated with oil, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed. Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the stock to be nearly absorbed between additions. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente and suspended in a creamy sauce, 35 to 40 minutes total. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and season with kosher salt and pepper.
Spoon the squash puree into shallow bowls, then spoon the risotto on top and garnish with the burrata. Top with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil and serve. Pass additional cheese at the table.
Venere black rice (riso Venere) is a short-grain rice that is less milled and more nutritious than other types of rice. It is available at specialty stores and amazon.com.
Fruit-forward South African Chenin Blanc.
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