fothergill-jan2015Amy Fothergill teaches public and private cooking classes and offers consultations to individuals and families. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Amy has training from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, as well as gluten-free experience with her family. She adapts her technical cooking knowledge to teach others how to prepare healthy, easy and delicious food that is big on flavor but not on time. She blogs and is the author of The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love.


Serves 3-4.  This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free (with butter substitute), vegetarian, vegan (with substitutes)

There is something about the flavor of butternut squash and sage; I just love it! It reminds me of fall. However, if you don’t have sage handy, thyme would be a great substitute.

Butternut-Risotto-FothergillThis hearty dish is also wonderful with any root vegetable like turnip, carrot, parsnip, rutabaga, and sweet potato. And if you want more nutrition in the dish, add 1 can of drained and rinsed white cannellini or garbanzo beans at the end and cook another 3 minutes.

Don’t think of risotto being hard. TV chefs make it seem very complicated. I doubt your family will vote you out of the kitchen if you serve it; give it a try.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2-3 shallots, minced (can substitute ½ medium onion, chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • ½ large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (about 2-3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or sherry (optional)
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth, heated to just boiling
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or butter substitute
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (if you don’t have fresh sage, add 1⁄2 teaspoon of dried sage in step 1 with the shallots)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the shallots or onion with pepper until soft and golden. Add garlic and salt and stir for 1 minute.

Add squash and cook until squash begins to soften,

Add the cooking wine and cook until it is evaporated, 1-2 minutes. Add rice and cook for a few minutes, stirring. Rice should turn translucent.

Begin to add hot broth, 1 cup at first. Stir every 2-3 minutes and add more broth after the last addition has been absorbed, about 1/2 to 1 cup at a time. Make sure rice is simmering but not boiling. Check after about 18 minutes or when the rice looks cooked. Taste rice; it should be slightly firm and not mushy. If you need more liquid and don’t have broth, add hot water. You may need some broth at the end to loosen the risotto before serving.

Add butter or butter substitute at the end to add extra creaminess, and chopped sage. Serve immediately.