Butternut Squash Risotto Balls with a Cashew, Garlic and Sage Smear

Serves 6 to 8 (As an Appetizer)

For Risotto:


A beautiful plating idea for this appetizer: Annieglass Oval Server




  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Peel and chop your butternut squash into small one inch cubes. Drizzle vegetable oil (1 Tablespoon) on the butternut squash and bake for 25 minutes.
  3. Boil 2 cups of water. In a container with a lid and one cup of cashews and boiled water. Seal the lid and let sit while preparing the rest of the meal. (Let sit for at least 1 hour, the longer the better).
  4. In a medium pot add your 4 cups of broth and bring it to a medium boil.
  5. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil, chopped shallots, garlic and sage. Saute until lightly golden brown.
  6. Add in one cup of rice and cook for about 2 minutes until rice is lightly toasted.
  7. Add in 1/2 cup of white wine or 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. Cook until almost all the liquid has been evaporated.
  8. Add 1/2 cup of broth, cook until almost evaporated and repeat this 1/2 cup of broth at a time until all the broth is gone.
  9. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
  10. Once the butternut squash has baked. Add to a blender or smash with a fork. Then mix into the rice.
  11. Spread the rice out on a cookie sheet and place in the fridge for 20 to 40 minutes until nice and cool.
  12. Once rice has cooled; In two separate small bowls add 4 egg whites in one bowl and panko crumbs in the other.
  13. In a cast iron or pan of your choice add 8 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium to high heat. Let heat for 1 minute.
  14. Roll the rice into 2 inch sized balls, roll in egg white and then panko crumbs; place in oil and repeat.
  15. *** Keep an eye on the rice balls as they fry, they crisp up fast, you want to rotate and move the balls every 30 seconds or so.
  16. Place on a cookie sheet and keep in the oven on warm until ready to serve.




  1. Drain the Cashews but save 4 to 6 Tablespoons of the cashew water.
  2. In a small pan add 1 teaspoon of oil, chopped garlic and chopped sage. Saute until the garlic is lightly golden brown (about 1.5 minutes)
  3. Add the cashews, 4 tablespoons water, garlic, sage, pepper, salt and optional parmesan cheese to the blender and blend; if it is not creamy enough add one tablespoon of water at a time until you reach a good creamy texture.
  4. Spread on the bottom of a plate or dip your risotto balls right on in! 🙂
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