This post is sponsored by California Walnuts. All opinions are my own.
Calling all cozy food fans. This one is for you! Think warm creamy risotto layered with roasted vegetables, parsley and topped with candied walnuts for a sweet and spicy finish.
Risotto is a family favorite around my home, When I was a kid my mom made a lot of casseroles. Her creamy rice based ones, were my always my favorite. Nowadays, I’m replicating or riffing on those favorites with better-for-you add-ins like the vegetables you see here. I’ve also learned to swap out the rice of my childhood with fuller bodied rice like Arborio rice that makes risotto.
I’ll tell you what though, making risotto is not a favorite of anyone’s. I’m going to make a big assumption and say no one wants to stand and stir for 50 minutes straight.
Nope. Not doing it, right?
But I have news for us risotto lovers! I’ve found a new way to enjoy homemade risotto sans the tedious task of stirring for long periods of time. Psssst . . . . Skip the stove top for the oven, which is a technique I picked up from David Tanis of NYT Cooking.
It starts by par-cooking the rice and then throwing it all into the oven. Alright, big assumption number two- if I can do it, you can do it. Yay to this because we now have a new way to make what we love!
Am I right? Let’s go with yes, yeah?
Let’s talk flavor. Since it’s the fall season, I’ve been cooking a lot of butternut squash. To layer on to that and give this butternut risotto more warmth, I added roasted brussels sprouts and radicchio. For added crunch and maximum flavor, I’m topping it with candied California Walnuts that have a sweet and spicy finish.
The walnuts may seem like a small addition, but walnuts have a unique flavor and texture. These little flavor bombs are not to be skipped! Pro-tip: When making candied walnuts, make extra. They are excellent sprinkled on salads, on top of grain bowls and are perfect snacks for kids and adults.
If taste and versatility aren’t enough, walnuts on their own come packed with health benefits. They are a powerhouse of nutrients include protein (4g/oz), fiber (2g/oz), and are also a good source of magnesium (11% of Daily Value). All things that have led 30 years of research to show walnuts may benefit heart health, diabetes, cancer, cognition and weight management. I especially love that walnuts are the only nut to provide an excellent source of the plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid or ALA (2.5g/oz.).
Makes you want to eat them by the handful now, right? Same. Stock up, friends, because California Walnuts store well when kept in the refrigerator for short term use and in the freezer for long term use.
Now that you have the low-down on this no-fuss oven-bake risotto, let’s do it!
To make the candied walnuts:
To make risotto: