Since discovering how tasty seared tuna steaks are, I’ve wanted to incorporate more autumnal-type side dishes so that I could be sure the tuna steaks could roll out of a summer meal and into fall without a hitch. I think I’ve found a couple sides that really made this happen, and at least one side that I am already planning to add to my arsenal for other meals.
This was my first attempt at risotto and personally, I think it turned out beautifully but Kyle wasn’t at all thrilled with it – not so much the flavor but the texture of the risotto itself. Ah well, can’t please everyone always! I’ll make it again for myself and I’ve now got a whole tub of it left over to master rice pudding this fall and winter!
Since I’ve decided to cut down on pasta and potatoes in our diets, I’ve been looking for new veggies other than our typical broccoli and asparagus. Inspired by the dishes that Cara over at Cara’s Cravings has come up with using squash, I decided to find my own. I opened up my Great Foods Fast cookbook from the Martha Stewart kitchens and came across a delicious new recipe that Kyle loved and commented that it’s a great substitute for potatoes.
And to tie the meal together, I made a balsamic syrup to top the tuna but that was also amazing drizzled on top of the squash.

Basic Risotto

from Everyday Italian
Giada De Laurentiis

  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Marsala)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated black pepper
  1. In a medium saucepan, abring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep hot over lot heat.
  2. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 mintues. Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until amost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cuip at a time, sitrring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total. Remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, the remaining tbsp of butter, and the salt and pepper. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 4

Butternut Squash with Sage
from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast
from the Kitchens of Martha Stewart Living

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 lbs butternut squash, pelled, seeded, and cut into 3/4 inch pieces (I cut them into 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (the original recipe doesn’t call for this but it was a nice addition)
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Melt the butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until the squash is lightly browned, 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add 1/4 cup water and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the squash is fork-tender, 8-10 minutes.
  3. Toss with sage

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Serves: 4

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