Sweet butternut squash pairs beautifully with earthy sage for this risotto, which I love to serve to friends in the fall. For an ultra-rich flavor, puree the onions before stirring them in. You can use farro instead of rice for a nutty, toasty spin.
This recipe was originally created by Sophie Nau, with regenerative farmer Acadia Tucker. You can find this and 33 other perennial food recipes in Acadia Tucker's new book, Growing Perennial Foods: A field guide to raising resilient herbs, fruits & vegetables (Stone Pier Press). The book is on sale now. Acadia Tucker is also the author of, Growing Good Food: A citizen's guide to backyard carbon farming. —Acadia Tucker
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Chop butternut squash into 1-inch pieces. Coat with 1 T olive oil, 1 tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, and ½ tsp cumin. Roast in oven for 40 minutes or until fork tender and slightly caramelized.
Thinly slice the onions. Heat 1 ½ T olive oil in a medium pan. Add onion slices, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp black pepper and cook over medium heat until caramelized, around 40 minutes. Stir frequently, and adjust seasonings to your liking. The final product should be the color of caramel.
In a medium-size saucepan, heat vegetable stock to a simmer.
Coat bottom of a large stockpot or Le Creusette with 1 T olive oil and set over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook for one minute. Add farro and sautee for one minute. Add wine and cook for another couple minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Slowly add warm vegetable broth 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. You can turn off the heat at this point, as long as the risotto stays hot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
When the stock is absorbed and the rice or farro is al dente, stir in caramelized onions, sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook a few more minutes. Add butter or vegan butter if desired.
Toss in 4 cups of the butternut squash and serve hot. Save extra squash to use in salads, soups, or as a side for tomorrow’s dinner.