This recipe for a rich, winter-y rice porridge comes from Minh Phan, the owner of Porridge + Puffs in Los Angeles. Ms. Phan is a porridge whisperer, creating all kinds of complex, beautiful rice bowls, and her velvet porridge rich with roasted squash is no exception. To make a simple version of it at home, roast a mix of squash then purée it with brown butter and a little half and half. Stir the mixture into loose, cooked rice for a comforting meal you can eat plain, topped with pickled vegetables and herbs, some browned sausage or dressed salad leaves. Ms. Phan lets the cooked rice rest overnight so the grains absorb the seasoning evenly, but if you’re in a rush, you can go ahead and eat it right away.
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup medium-grain white rice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1 ½ to 2 pounds mixed squash, such as honeynut, kabocha or butternut
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 ounces unsalted butter
- ½ cup half-and-half
- Handful of fresh herbs, such as mint, lemon balm or basil, to garnish
- Pickled vegetables, to garnish
- In a pot, add the cold water and rice, and place over medium heat. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to keep rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan, then turn down to low heat and simmer. When rice is tender and water is almost evaporated, about 20 minutes, season the rice, and stir well. Cool at room temperature, then transfer to the fridge overnight.
- Heat the oven to 400. Halve the squash, then use a knife to remove the skin, and roughly chop squash into 2-inch pieces. Toss with oil, and spread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, and roast for 30 minutes, or until browned and tender all the way through.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, and simmer until the butter spatters and the milk solids turn brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool for a few minutes. Add the squash, browned butter and half-and-half to a blender and purée, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed to get a very evenly smooth purée. Add a splash more water if needed to help the blades catch the squash.
- After the rice has rested for about 8 hours, or overnight, warm it in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring gently with a splash of water. The porridge should be thick and shiny, but not soupy, with the texture of a soft risotto. When it is warm, add the squash purée, and stir well. Simmer everything together on low heat for about five minutes, then taste and season as needed with salt and pepper. Ladle hot porridge into bowls, and garnish with a mix of fresh herbs and pickled vegetables.
Featured in: Not Your Dickensian Bowl Of Porridge.