Cooler weather hit here this weekend, and that was all I needed to set me into fall cooking mode! For me, even before the urge for pumpkin kicks in, I’m craving all things butternut squash (especially roasted butternut squash!). Something about the roasted flavor with the herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme) instantly resonates fall to me and I love it!
Originally, my plan for this weekend was to make a butternut squash sauce and use that to make a butternut squash risotto (among other things). Once getting into the technicalities of making the risotto, though, it seemed the end result might lack texture in using the squash as a sauce and not having any chunks of squash in it. Due to the portion restrictions on butternut squash for Low FODMAP, it also didn’t seem that it would work to do a mix of using some sauce and some chunks. Also, risotto gets a huge flavor boost when you sautee whatever veggies you’ll be using in it first (in the same pan you make the risotto in), so it seemed sauteeing (vs. roasting) would be the way to go here. So ultimately, I went with a completely different approach than originally planned but it all worked out wonderfully! Sauteeing with the fresh herbs still gave a similar “roasted” flavor to the squash that I was going for, and cooking the entire time with the risotto gave the overall dish an added burst of the delicious flavors from the squash.
To add a bit of extra creaminess to this one, I used a few tablespoons of my new favorite thing – blended cottage cheese. It worked wonderfully in place of heavy cream and pulled everything together to make an amazingly creamy, cheesy, flavorful dish that would be delicious either as a side dish or a main dish (risotto is very filling and with the added fiber from the squash is even more so). **BUT… Please note: a) Nutritional values below are based on a 1/6 serving of the below recipe. b) For IBS/Low FODMAP, the recipe as is below must only be consumed 1/6 of a serving at a time due to the amount of squash (which is almost certainly too little to be a main course). Plus, if you’d like to make it with only 4 servings and still be IBS/Low FODMAP friendly, the amount of butternut squash used in the recipe has to be reduced to 120g, which will then cause it to be lacking a bit of bulk from the squash. So really, it’s probably only ever a side dish for anyone with IBS/following Low FODMAP food plan.**
Personally, I can’t ever bring myself to see risotto as a full meal so it’s just fine with me only ever being a side dish! This one has a fair amount of fat content from the cheese and oil, so I would go with a pretty low fat meat/fish pairing to go with it.