Monday, November 28, 2011

Butternut Squash Risotto

There was a butternut squash in my CSA basket and I had seen many recipes for Butternut Squash Risotto all over the Internet. I have been doing a lot of cooking lately from a website called She indicates the Weight Watcher's point for each recipe and so I feel like most of these recipes can't be half bad for you.

Tonight's risotto was absolutely spectacular! I started by cooking some of the butternut squash and pureeing it to get a cup of squash puree. I then added the puree to vegetable stock and warmed the broth through for the risotto. The risotto itself was pretty much the standard with arborio rice cooked with diced shallots and garlic and chopped fresh sage, deglazed with white wine before having ladles of the warm broth added. It was finsihed with 1/4 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese. I did garnish the bowls with a little bit of cooked butternut squash and a sage leaf with a little more freshly grated cheese. YUM!

Butternut Squash Risotto (Serves 3 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish)
Adapted from

1 cup butternut squash puree
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots, minced
5 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano or Parmigaino-Reggiano cheese
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Take 2 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash, put in a pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until squash is tender (approximately 20-30 minutes). Puree tender squash cubes in blender with a little bit of the cooking water to get a smooth puree.

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until golden, add risotto and sage and stir well to coat each grain with the oil. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed. Add salt and pepper and the stock a ladleful at a time, until it is absorbed before adding another ladleful stirring gently and almost constantly. Stirring loosens the starch molecules from the outside of the rice grains into the surrounding liquid, creating a smooth creamy-textured liquid. The trick to a great risotto is to keep stirring each ladleful of stock until you can scrape the bottom of the pan with either a wooden spoon or a spatula and it leaves a completely dry streak. That is when you know you are ready for the next ladleful. Continue adding ladlefuls of stock and stirring until all the stock is used, about 30 minutes from the time you started. When all the liquid is absorbed, stir in the grated cheese and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

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