Our next door neighbor Pat has a wonderfully productive garden where she grows much of her own food. We are the lucky beneficiaries of her overflow in times when, for example, she has harvested 15 large butternut squash and there are still 15 more on the vine. No matter how much Pat loves winter squash, even she knows that she can’t eat all thirty of them by herself. Yikes! Here’s a lovely risotto we made recently with about half of one butternut squash that Pat brought over. (The other half went into pumpkin bread.) The risotto is so simple, with arborio rice, squash, broth, onions, white wine, and Parmesan; it just takes a bit of attention (stirring) while the rice slowly absorbs the broth.
Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe
- 6-8 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian option, and gluten-free stock for gluten-free version)
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided into 4 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled, and finely diced
- 2 cups arborio rice (can substitute medium grained white rice, but arborio is preferred)
- 1 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp chopped chives or garlic chives
1 Heat broth in medium sized saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Melt 4 Tbsp of butter in a large saucepan; add onion and butternut squash. Cook over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
2 Add rice to onion and squash. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine. Cook, stirring constantly until wine has been absorbed by the rice or evaporated. Add a few ladles of broth, just enough to barely cover rice. Cook over medium heat until broth has been absorbed. Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 minutes.
3 During the last minutes of cooking, add remaining tablespoon of butter, 1/3 cup Parmesan, and chives. At this point the rice should have a creamy consistency. Add salt to taste. Serve with remaining grated Parmesan.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.