I’ll admit it, I have a problem. I’m squash-obsessed. Whether by magic or by nature it seems my family is too. Remember? Even my sweet dog, Chet goes crazy for roasted squash snacks. Last year, my boyfriend’s mother Susan, who is well aware and supportive of my addiction, brought a recipe over for Butternut Squash Risotto. Imagine my delight when she combined the creamy rich risotto with the delectable roasted squash and served it for dinner.
By now, as you’d imagine, I have become familiar with selecting squash off the shelves. When I go to a local retailer or farmers market to pick out a fresh butternut squash I have a few criteria in mind. First, I contemplate how much squash i actually need (all of it). In reality I over estimate, but the more squash I need the longer neck of squash I get. Once size is determined its all about color. The darker orange the butternut, the sweeter it is. While squash is in season I don’t often go a day without having a squash in the pantry. It can be used in so many different ways and I don’t dare to be empty-handed when inspiration hits.
Back to this dreamy creamy risotto. The recipe Susan brought over was adapted from Rachel Ray and that version has now become a fall staple. My second favorite part about this recipe, other than including squash, is that it includes 1 cup of dry white wine. What do you do with the rest of the bottle? Sip while you cook, thats what!
Preheat Oven: 400 degrees
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 1 quart chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped (Isadore Farm)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped (Loma Farm)
- 1 cups Arborio Rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 medium butternut squash (Second Spring Farm)
- nutmeg- to taste
- 2 tbsp butter
- fresh sage (Loma Farm)
- 1 cup Parmigianno Reggiano
First peel and carefully chop butternut squash. Toss with olive oil and place in the oven for 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Next, bring the 1 quart stock plus 1 cup of water to a simmer in a sauce pot, reduce the heat to low. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat with olive oil. Add onions and garlic until soft (2-3 minutes). Add the arborio rice and toast for 2-3 minutes more. Add wine and cook it out completely, stirring occasionally (2-3 minutes). Ladle the stock in at intervals, a couple ladles at a time. Be sure to allow liquids to evaporate each time. The risotto will take about 18 minutes to cook total. After all the stock has been added and evaporated, add in the roasted butternut squash. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Lastly stir in the butter, sage and cheese.
Any squash you like, whether its large, small, sweet or rich, makes for a great versatile ingredient this time of year. I love that friends can continually introduce me to new varieties and it never gets old.
What’s your favorite seasonal squash variety? Got a favorite squash dish?
Being squash-obsessed has its benefits.