When it comes to creating a complete meal, the side dishes you offer can make all the difference. Butternut squash risotto is a delicious and tasty main, but the right side dishes can really elevate the meal and make it a stand-out dish.
Here is a look at some of the best side dish ideas that pair perfectly with butternut squash risotto:
Roasting vegetables is one of the most delicious and nutritious ways to enjoy them. It is also incredibly easy and requires minimal effort. All you need to do is heat the oven to a moderate/high temperature and select your desired vegetables. For example, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic cloves or any other vegetables you have in mind.
Once you have your ingredients prepared, season them with oil, salt and pepper (or any other spices/herbs of your choosing). Then spread the vegetables on a baking sheet and roast for about 15-20 minutes at 375-400°F (191-204°C). Keep an eye on them during roasting so they don’t overcook.
Roasted vegetables can be served as a side dish to meat-based meals or used as part of vegetarian meals such as salads or stir fries. Roasted veg can even be enjoyed as snacks all by themselves! With this simple cooking method it’s possible to enjoy nutrient dense food all year round – whether it’s summer, autumn or winter.
Grilled seafood is a great pairing for butternut squash risotto. This combination works especially well if you are serving this risotto as the main course. Seafood such as salmon, shrimp, or scallops can be grilled to perfection in just a few minutes and will provide an excellent source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Try grilling the seafood with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some garlic to flavor it. It is best to lightly season with salt and pepper just before serving to ensure maximum flavor. Grilled seafood is also full of essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iodine, selenium and zinc which help support healthy growth and development.
Additionally try tossing in fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro for extra flavor!
Salads offer a great way to add fresh vegetables, crunchy nuts and fiber-rich grains to a meal. Whether you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing side or an interesting garnish, salads can easily fill the role. Let’s explore some of the many types of salads you could prepare:
- Green salads are probably the most well-known type of salad. Green salads typically use crisp, seasonal greens like lettuce, spinach and kale as their base before being topped with binders like tomatoes or avocados, protein rich ingredients like eggs, beans or fish and extras like nuts and croutons.
- Pasta salads are an ideal side dish for picnics and potlucks due to their convenience and versatility when it comes to additions – moisture rich vegetables like cherry tomatoes, blanched green beans or roasted red peppers can liven up even plain pasta noodles. Similarly egg derived salads such as potato salad are a classic in many parts of the world. This is often made with either cold boiled potatoes or leftover boiled potatoes ready to be cut into cubes and served cold with onions, eggs and mayo based sauces that varies from region to region.
- Fruit salads are a great option for lighter summer dishes paired with mild flavors such as honey mustard dressings or jellied fruit reductions. This type of salad is a colorful option that blends seasonal fruits into small cubes of nutrients sweet flavor, from strawberries tops on creamy yogurt dressing to melon medleys in light white wine dressings. Fruit salad offers variety both in texture, color and sweetness.
Whether you choose one type of base ingredient over another, every type of salad offers nutritious potential to your dinner plate.
Butternut squash risotto is a delicious and savory dish that can be paired with a variety of sauces to add a unique flavor to the dish. Sauces such as pesto, marinara, Alfredo, and cream sauces are all excellent choices for enhancing the flavor of butternut squash risotto.
In this section, we will discuss the different sauces that can be used to elevate the flavor of this classic Italian dish:
Pesto is an uncooked sauce made from a combination of crushed garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese or Pecorino cheese, and olive oil. It originated in the Mediterranean region of Italy and was traditionally ground with a mortar and pestle. Today, it is more commonly blended in a blender or food processor. Pesto is commonly used with pasta, but can also be served on sandwiches, added to pizza toppings, mixed with roasted vegetables, or used as a spread on toast. It can also be used as one of the main ingredients for soups and other dishes.
The classic Italian pesto sauce includes fresh basil leaves that are chopped together with garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese or Pecorino cheese (a hard Italian cheese made mainly from sheep’s milk), olive oil, toasted pine nuts and coarse sea salt. All ingredients are then finely chopped together until they form a thick paste-like consistency.
Other variations of this recipe may include:
- Sundried tomatoes
- Rocket leaves (arugula)
- Spinach leaves
- Different types of hard cheeses like Grana Padano or Gorgonzola
- Walnuts instead of pine nuts to replace the nutty flavour
- Parsley instead of basil leaves in order to provide a milder taste
Balsamic Reduction is a thick, flavorful sauce made from simmered balsamic vinegar. It is commonly used as a glaze or drizzled over vegetables, fish, meat, or other foods. The reduction process helps to concentrate the flavor and gives it a syrup-like consistency.
To make Balsamic Reduction, begin by heating equal parts balsamic vinegar and honey in a saucepan until it begins to simmer lightly. Then reduce the heat and let the mixture thicken until it reaches your desired thickness – this can take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes depending on how much you reduce it. Finally, pour the finished Balsamic Reduction into a jar and store in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Balsamic Reduction makes for a succulent companion for Butternut Squash Risotto! Drizzle a little over each individual dish prepared with the risotto – or even on top of fresh arugula leaves to make this creamy delight even more flavorful. Not only does Balsamic Reduction provide depth and complexity of flavor that you can’t get from plain butter or olive oil alone – it also adds an eye-catching visual element that your guests are sure to appreciate!
White Wine Sauce
White Wine Sauce is a classic accompaniment to Butternut Sququash Risotto. A creamy white wine sauce adds complexity to the dish and helps balance the earthy flavors of the butternut squash.
To make White Wine Sauce, start by melting butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add minced shallots and sauté for 3-4 minutes until the shallots are softened. Add dry white wine and cook until it reduces by half before adding chicken broth or vegetable stock. Simmer for 10 minutes before adding heavy cream and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Adjust seasoning as desired with salt and pepper. Serve warm over Butternut Squash Risotto for an unforgettable meal!
Butternut squash risotto is a creamy, savory dish that can be served as a stand-alone meal or as part of a larger feast. The addition of accompaniments can further enhance the flavors and texture of the risotto. To complete the meal, consider serving:
- Fresh salads
- Roasted vegetables
- Crusty breads
- Grilled proteins
Here are some accompaniment suggestions for butternut squash risotto.
Garlic bread is a popular accompaniment to butternut squash risotto, as it complements the savory and slightly sweet flavor of the dish. To make garlic bread, preheat the oven to 350°F and slice one loaf of Italian or French baguette in half length-wise.
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of melted butter, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley. Spread this mixture evenly over the cut side of the baguette halves and wrap them in aluminum foil. Place them in the oven for about 10 minutes before opening up one end of each packet so that air can circulate and browning can occur. Bake for an additional 5 minutes before unwrapping completely and baking for a further 5 minutes until golden brown.
Enjoy your homemade garlic bread as a tasty accompaniment to your butternut squash risotto!
Parmesan cheese, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, is a hard, yellow cheese that can be grated and used as an accompaniment to enhance the flavor of many savory dishes. With its sharp taste and salty flavor, it pairs especially well with Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
Parmesan cheese is made from raw cow’s milk that is aged for at least one year. During this time, the wheel of cheese is regularly oiled and brushed to give it its distinctive golden hue. Parmesan has a complex flavor profile – sweet and nutty with a hint of sharpness – making it incredibly versatile.
The best way to enjoy Parmesan is freshly grated over dishes such as pasta and risotto just before serving. When used in cooking however, Parmesan can also be added to sauces or topping for pizza or lasagne. It also makes an excellent addition to sandwiches or salads for added texture and flavour.
Parmesan cheese should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator where it will keep fresh for up to three months if unopened. If opened, the package should be tightly sealed in order to maintain its optimal quality and taste.
Toasted nuts can be a great way to add texture and flavor to butternut squash risotto. Nuts like walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, pecans and pistachios are all excellent choices for adding crunchy texture and rich, buttery flavors. Toasting brings out the natural sweetness of nuts, so you may not need to add additional flavors like salt, herbs or spices.
When it comes to amounts of nuts you should use in your dish, it depends on your preference. Generally speaking, most recipes recommend 1/4 cup per serving as a good starting point. Adjust as needed depending on how nutty you would like the flavor to be.
To toast the nuts before adding them in risotto dishes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spread the desired amount of nuts onto baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Roast for 10-15 minutes until golden brown – timing will vary depending upon type of nut used.
- Allow time to cool before stirring into the risotto dish or use them as a garnish topping.
A great beverage to have with butternut squash risotto is an oaked chardonnay, as it pairs well with the creamy, earthy flavor of the risotto. Sparkling wines, such as Prosecco or Champagne, are also a great option. Light beers or even a classic Pinot Noir can also be great accompaniments for the risotto.
Let’s talk about more beverages to have with this dish:
White wines are most typically served chilled, being either rich and full-bodied or light and crisp, depending on the grape variety used in production. This type of wine pairs well with seafood, asparagus, salads, cheeses – especially soft-ripened cheeses – and poultry.
Common varieties of white wine include: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc and Viognier. Chardonnay is the most common varietal that’s fruity but can be oaked for a fuller flavour; Sauvignon Blanc is usually herbaceous with a grassy nose; Pinot Grigio/Gris tastes of ripe melon; Riesling can range from bone dry to sweet; Gewürztraminer has tropical fruit notes along with rose petal and spice flavours; Chenin Blanc has flavours ranging from pear to honeycomb; while Viognier carries perfumed aromas of apricots with a full body texture.
The type of white wine glass you choose can really affect the taste and aroma of your tipple. The general rule is that glasses become narrower towards the rim in order to maintain carbon dioxide bubbles in sweeter styles – like Riesling or Gewürztraminer – whereas wider bowls are better suited to stimulating aromas in aromatically complex varieties like Chenin Blanc or Viognier.
Sparkling water—also known as carbonated water, seltzer water, soda water, club soda, fizzy water, and sparkling mineral water—is simply regular drinking water that has been artificially infused with carbon dioxide gas. This process forms the tiny bubbles that give it that characteristic “sparkle” or effervescence. The result is a refreshingly fizzy beverage with no calories, sugars or artificial sweeteners.
Sparkling waters come in a variety of flavors including lemon-lime, cucumber, berry and peach. Not only are many of these options calorie-free but they are also caffeine-free and offer a refreshing alternative to traditional sugary sodas. Some brands also offer nutrients such as magnesium and calcium in their drinks. In addition to plain sparkling waters flavored varieties typically contain natural or artificial flavors extracted from citrus fruits, herbs or spices and provide a kick of flavor without added calories.
Whether you choose plain or flavored varieties throughout your day you can enjoy the effervescence of sparkling waters as an easy way to stay hydrated and energized while avoiding added sugars that sugary sodas carry with them.
Hot tea is an ideal accompaniment to butternut squash risotto. Whether it’s green, black or herbal, tea adds a delightful warmth and flavor when matched with the creamy texture of the dish.
For a light, sweet and earthy taste, try a green tea such as jasmine or chamomile. Alternatively, for heartier more robust flavors to pair with risotto consider bolder beverages such as black teas like English Breakfast or lapsang souchong. Herbal teas can provide a wonderful depth of flavor too such as peppermint, ginger or rooibos.
Depending on personal preference hot water with lemon can be an excellent beverage choice as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What vegetables should I serve with butternut squash risotto?
A1: You can serve a variety of vegetables with butternut squash risotto, such as roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted asparagus, roasted bell pepper, or sautéed mushrooms.
Q2: What type of protein can I serve with butternut squash risotto?
A2: You can serve a variety of proteins with butternut squash risotto, such as grilled chicken, seared salmon, or shrimp.
Q3: Can I serve a salad with butternut squash risotto?
A3: Yes, a salad is a great accompaniment to butternut squash risotto. Try a simple green salad, or a more complex salad with roasted vegetables and a light vinaigrette.