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Butternut Squash Risotto


For me, the fall is all about comfort foods and this butternut squash risotto definitely checks that box. Honestly this was my first time making risotto because the part about constantly stirring always intimidated me. My friends, it couldn' have been easier and more delicious! Another confession...I'm not a huge squash fan. I'll eat it, but I don't love it. However, the nutty, warm flavor of the butternut squash was the perfect addition to the creamy, cheesy risotto. And the pistachio topping adds the perfect crunch.  If you're a risotto novice like me and want to experiment more with this decadent dish, Fine Cooking has a great article on exploring various risottos here.

***** Butternut Squash Risotto *****

// Ingredients // 

1 small onion, peeled and chopped fine
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
46 oz.  chicken broth, heated
1 lb. risotto rice (I used Bellino Arborio risotto)
3 oz. finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 butternut squash cooked and chopped (directions here)
shelled pistachios for garnish
ground pepper to taste

// Instructions // 

1. Prior to cooking the risotto, cook your butternut squash. Ina can show you how to do that here.

2. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a stock pot. Over low heat, saute diced onion until slightly brown. Add rice and stir until evenly coated with olive oil. Increase heat to medium. Then, add half of the heated broth, stirring continuously. Bring to and maintain a slow boil while stirring, adding the remaining broth a little at a time. Remember...continually stirring!

3. When the broth has been absorbed, stir in cheese and black pepper. Then gently fold in about 1 1/2 cups of cooked and chopped butternut squash.

4. The rice is done when it is tender, but firm to the bite, otherwise known as "Al Dente."

*photos and styling by Amy Mikkelsen

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