Thursday, October 13, 2011

Recipe: Butternut Squash Risotto

Last weekend I bought a butternut squash from the farmers market. I knew I had to use it pretty soon or I would lose it. I've always made it mashed, but I decided to be adventurous and started searching for unique butternut squash recipes. I found this recipe on No Meat Athlete, a website for vegetarian and vegan athletes. I like cooking without meat so I was thrilled to find this website and this recipe. We LOVED it. I will definitely be making it again next week. We served it up with homemade Pancake Mix Biscuits that Reeve made (I'll share that recipe tomorrow!) Try this recipe on a crisp fall evening.

(Looks incredibly tasty right?)

Butternut Squash Risotto

 (for 4 servings):

  • 1 1/2 cups imported arborio rice
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp olive or canola oil
  • vanilla extract
  • fresh nutmeg (seriously, don't use ground)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
Heat 1 Tbsp each of butter and oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add the onion.  Let it soften, then add the butternut squash and stir for a few minutes to coat in oil and butter. 

Add a few drops of vanilla extract (don't go crazy with it) and grate some nutmeg in.  I like a lot of nutmeg, maybe a half teaspoon.  Add half the wine and 1/2 cup of vegetable stock, cover, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.  As soon as the squash is tender, take it off the heat.  Do not let the squash get too soft!

Meanwhile, heat the remaining vegetable stock in its own small pot over medium low heat, then keep at a simmer.  Once the squash is tender, heat the rest of the oil (2 Tbsp) and 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large saucepan.  Add the rice and stir it constantly until it begins to quietly squeek or whistle, about 5 minutes for me.  At this point, add the rest of the white wine to the rice and stir until the pan is almost dry, then add a cup of vegetable stock.  Stir until it's absorbed (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan for a few seconds when you run your spoon through it), then add the squash mixture.

Stir for another minute, add 3/4 cup of stock, and stir for 30 seconds.  Then stop stirring, except to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Once the stock is absorbed, add 3/4 cup stock again.  Keep repeating this process until the rice is just al dente, but not at all grainy in the center.  You should use up just about all of the stock.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, add the parmesan cheese and the remaining 2 Tbsp butter.  Give it a good stir, then serve immediately.  You're looking for a consistency between mashed potatoes and soup.  Stir more to thicken or add more liquid to loosen, as needed.

Serve with fresh ground black pepper, fresh grated nutmeg, and additional cheese if desired.

(Taken from

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