Cut off the top and bottom ½ inch of the butternut squash. Then, use a vegetable peeler to peel the entire squash. Afterwards, proceed to cut it in half vertically, and scoop out the seeds. Dice into bite-sized pieces - you will need around ½ a butternut squash, or 2 cups, for this recipe.
½ large butternut squash, 1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Transfer the cubed butternut squash to the tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until tender and golden.
Meanwhile, melt the vegan butter in a flat-bottomed pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, before adding the cumin and garlic powder and cooking for 2 more minutes.
Add the arborio rice and allow to cook for around 3 minutes to brown the rice slightly. Then, start pouring in the vegetable stock around ½ cup at a time, stirring continuously until it fully absorbs before adding more stock. The whole process should take around 20 minutes.
1 ½ cups Arborio rice, 5 cups vegetable stock
Once you have used up all the vegetable stock minus 1 cup, add the turmeric, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, vegan cheese, asparagus, the roasted butternut squash and the rest of the stock. Continue stirring for another 5 minutes, until the asparagus is bright green.
1 tsp turmeric, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, ½ cup vegan cheese, 2 cups asparagus
At the last minute, stir in the the spinach and lemon juice. Season to taste with black pepper and serve.
3 cups spinach leaves, 1 lemon, ½ tsp black pepper
Tips for success
Make sure that the stock is warm before you start adding it in.
Don't add too much vegetable stock at the same time, as the gradual stirring process is what allows the rice to break down and create a creamy texture.
Keep stirring and don't walk away from the stove during the cooking process in order to achieve the best results.
Storage instructionsThis risotto best eaten straight away. However, you can keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container and reheat on the stove, adding more vegetable stock as you do so. I would not recommend freezing risotto, because this will cause the rice to develop a grainy texture.