Butternut Squash Risotto with Brown Rice

By • October 27, 2010 11 Comments

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Author Notes: Brown rice offers a toothier, nuttier alternative to the traditional arborio rice used in risottos, and is perfectly paired with butternut squash. Sage, rosemary and roasted walnuts round out this cozy fall dish. - theyearinfoodtheyearinfood

Food52 Review: This dish combines colors, flavors, and textures from all over the spectrum and presents them in perfect balance. The sweetness and softness of the butternut squash is tempered by the freshness of sage and rosemary, the crunchiness of toasted walnuts, and the heartiness of brown rice. The components blend together beautifully, creating a meal that is incredibly satisfying. It is simple to put together, but takes time, as risottos tend to do. The best part about this risotto was the brown rice—it really holds its own against all of the additions to the dish. I was beyond impressed! - forester_ladyBrianne Du Clos

Serves 4 to 6 servings

  • 2 cups butternut squash, roasted and pureed (instructions below)
  • 2 cups short grain brown rice
  • 1 yellow onion, medium
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  1. FOR THE SQUASH: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice squash in half lengthwise. Place open side down in an oiled baking dish, and roast until the squash is soft when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes. When cool, measure and scoop the two cups needed for the risotto, mashing to form a smooth consistency if necessary. You will probably have more than you need; the rest can be frozen.
  2. FOR THE RISOTTO: In a large pot, warm the stock over low heat. It should be warm when adding to the rice.
  3. Warm another large pot over medium-low heat. Saute the onions in the butter or oil until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. Add the rice, sage and rosemary and stir frequently until the rice becomes translucent around the edges, another 5 minutes or so.
  5. Add the wine and stir. It's not really necessary to stir risotto constantly, as is tradition. Instead, stir the risotto frequently, and check on it regularly.
  6. When the wine has been mostly absorbed, begin adding the warm stock, one cup at a time. Again, continue to stir at regular intervals, but don’t be afraid to leave it alone for a bit.
  7. As each cup of stock is absorbed, add another. If you have added four cups of stock and find that the rice is still not cooked, add the fifth cup in quarter cup increments, checking often to see if the rice is done.
  8. When the rice is cooked, add the parmesan and blend with the rice. Next, fold in the butternut squash and the toasted walnuts, and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Garnish with a few walnuts and a sprig of rosemary or a sage leaf, and serve.

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