I must admit I never made butternut squash. My mom made it occasionally but I never thought to make it -- I don't know why -- it just never called out to me until now.
I asked sister the cook how to prepare it since I know she's made butternut squash and is experienced.
She gave me a few tips. Now all I needed to do is decide what dish to make that everyone would at least want to try.
Risotto might just be the perfect foil for the squash. I haven't yet found anything that would ruin a risotto so I'm hoping this dish will be a new Thanksgiving side.
This risotto can be one of the vegetarian options you might need to add to your menu. You can also eliminate the nuts for those who may be allergic to nuts.
Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto
- 1 butternut squash peeled and cut in chunks
- 1-2 TBLS. olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced (about 3/4 cup)
- 3 stalks of celery chopped
- 2 TBLS. pine nuts or chopped walnuts (optional)
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 TBLS. chopped parsley
- fresh sage leaves, chopped and for garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 425. Cover a sheet pan with foil. Cut up the squash and put it in a bowl with the olive oil and toss to coat the cubes of squash. Place the squash on the foil and roast in the oven approximately 40-50 minutes or until tender. Add the nuts to toast just before the squash is done for a few minutes. Remove from oven when done and set aside.
- Pour the stock into a 2-quart saucepan and keep it hot over low heat. (The liquid must be hot in order for the starch to be released to make the sauce creamy.)
- Heat the olive oil in a wide 3 to 4 quart pan over medium heat then add in the chopped celery and onion, stirring occasionally until it is softened and translucent and just lightly golden.
- Stir in the rice and continue stirring until the grains are coated with oil and “toasted” – the edges become translucent – 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and let it boil, stirring the rice, until wine is evaporated.
- Season the rice lightly with salt and ladle enough of the hot stock into the pan to barely cover the rice (1-2 ladles). Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the stock is at a lively simmer. Cook, stirring constantly until all the liquid has been absorbed and you can see the bottom of the pan when you stir.
- Continue cooking the rice on simmer and pour in approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the hot stock -- each addition of the stock should be just enough to completely moisten the rice -- and then let the rice cook until each batch of stock has been absorbed.
- Stir constantly until the rice mixture is creamy but al dente; this will take 16 to 20 minutes from the time the wine was added. When in doubt, undercook – risotto continues to cook even after it is removed from the heat.
- Taste the rice after the stock has absorbed to determine if the rice is al dente after about 15 minutes of cooking time. Add the roasted butternut squash and nuts to the risotto during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Place into a serving platter and add the parsley and sage.
I'm sharing this recipe on the following hops. A couple of new hops I found this week are FaveDiets is a monthly hop, A Little Birdie Told Me, and Gallery of Favorites is a weekend hop. Stop by and visit them when you get a chance for some great recipes and ideas. Happy Holiday!