Butternut Squash Risotto

By • April 10, 2014 1 Comments

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Serves 4, generously.

  • 5-6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion,chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash (medium sized), diced into 1/2"-1/4" cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinches salt
  • pinches pepper
  • bunches arugula (optional)
  1. Heat a large pan over medium-low heat with the olive oil and butter. Once melted add the chopped onions. You want the onions to become translucent in color and not brown too quickly so keep the heat low. In a separate saucepan, heat chicken broth until it comes to a simmer then reduce heat for use later.
  2. To prepare the butternut squash, use a vegetable peeler to removed the tough outer skin of the squash. Cut off both of the ends of the squash to stabilize it and slice it in half longways. Scoop out and discard the seeds from the squash. Then, carefully slice the squash lengthwise and then again dice into 1/2?-1/4? cubes. This takes a little bit of time to do, but it’s important so that the squash cooks evenly. Raise the heat and add the squash and the chopped garlic to the onions. (Wait until this point to add the garlic so that it doesn't burn). Add butter and stir until the mixtures have combined.
  3. At this point, you’re ready to add the rice- add rice and stir to coat with the buttery, onion, squash flavor. Stir continuously for 2-3 minutes until the rice takes on a pale-golden color. Stir in wine (and pour a glass for yourself) and stir until completely absorbed by the risotto.
  4. Add two ladles of broth to the risotto and stir continuously until it is mostly absorbed. Reduce the heat to medium low for this process. Constantly stirring is necessary for risotto because it draws the starch out of the rice which makes it creamy and thick. All that stirring will feel like your arm is going to fall off, but that’s what the wine is for! Repeat the process of adding two ladles of broth and stirring until absorbed, until the rice becomes tender and the mixture has become thick and creamy.
  5. You may need to add more or less broth, depending on how fast your rice and squash cook together. You’ll know that the risotto is done when the rice is al dente (cooked, but still firm) and when the squash is completely cooked through. To finish, I add Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper (to taste) and some arugula to add some color! The risotto is great as a side dish to meat and fish or just served alongside a salad. Either way, make sure you’re drinking the rest of that bottle of white wine with it.

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Rice & Grains|Vegetables|Entrees|Side Dishes|Risotto