Tuesday, September 28

Butternut Squash Risotto

Sighh.  I've waited so patiently for my dear friend, Autumn to arrive.  I know it's clichè to write about, but Fall is arguably the best season.  Oh, I love them all, but there's something about the anticipation of it's arrival that makes me crazy for change.

Traditions mean the world to me, and without argument, there are a “few” requirements to properly welcome Fall.  It’s undoubtedly necessary to update the old wardrobe, clean out the closets, dig out the scarves, lust for new home decor and rummage through recipes old and new.

I just love how a little update here and there can change your perspective and give-way to much needed inspiration.

And while my husband complains that I've wished summer away with my Fall agenda, I would debate that it's not just me; the trees know it's coming too.   Hardly a day will pass without the Maple trees making subtle updates of their own.  I love that.  As if it's my religion, I wake every morning to open the blinds, sip my coffee and take note of the "sprucing" up that's happening outside.

I’ve never made risotto, but I've eaten plenty.  I’ve also never fully appreciated the effort that's involved in making it; the adding…the stirring…the waiting.  Since August, I've been fantasizing about a pumpkin risotto.  I must tell you, I thought I was exceptionally clever to dream up such a lovely combination of sweet and savory…but as it turns out, that "damn Martha" beat me to it.  In any case, I decided that my first attempt at risotto would include some assistance from Ms. Stewart with a few adaptations of my own.

Most people eat risotto as a side dish, but I love a brimming bowl full of comfort all on it's own.  And despite my inner vegetarian, I secretly envision crispy pancetta crumbled over this slightly sweet and incredibly creamy dish.

Butternut Squash Risotto

1/2 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic
1/2 onion
sea salt and fresh pepper
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) organic chicken stock, plus 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
small handful of fresh sage

Prepare butternut squash:  remove seeds and membranes; discard.  Remove outer skin with vegetable peeler.  If this proves difficult, microwave squash for 3 minutes to soften. Slice lengthwise, then chop into 1/2 inch cubes.  Chop onions and mince garlic.

Start risotto:  Heat butter in bottom-heavy pan over moderately-low heat.  Add squash, onions and garlic;  stir frequently while cooking, about 6-8 minutes, or until squash is slightly softened and onions are translucent.

Prepare stock:  Mix chicken stock and water; heat in saucepan.  Set aside.

Finish risotto:  When squash has slightly softened and onions are translucent, add rice and stir to coat.  Slowly stir in wine until evaporated, about 2 minutes.  Begin by adding 1/2 cup heated chicken stock, stirring frequently, until nearly all liquid has been absorbed.  Add another 1/2 cup, repeating the previous steps until the stock is gone, taking about 35-40 minutes.  Stir constantly, ensuring risotto doesn't stick to pan.

Mix in parmesan and freshly chopped sage.  Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sissy!
    Your Risotto looks fantastic! I will have put it on the menu for next week. After reading your lovely blog I found myself craving more (as I always do) fallish comfort so I went to Orangette. (I think I have told you about it) Anyway, there is a recipe for Red Lentil Soup withLemon that looks like it would be right up our ally. You should check it out. Luv U!