I love risotto. It really doesn’t take much skill, just time and attention. So when I saw this recipe for butternut squash risotto, I put it on the menu right away. I haven’t made a risotto in a while, because it’s just been too darn hot to stand over the stove for half an hour, but fall is here (sort of) and the time is right.
I unintentionally browned the butter, which is hard to do by accident, but it turned out to be a perfect match for the sage and butternut squash, so yay for that! I think I’ll do it on purpose next time. For my money, there’s no better savory fall flavor than brown butter. Add in butternut squash and sage, and you have the trifecta of fall goodness.
Did Nora like it? In her words,” Baby eatin’ the rice. Yummmm!” So, yeah.
The grown-ups enjoyed a bottle of Ridge Lytton Estate Grenache with dinner, which made it an all-around smashing evening… but then again, pretty much any bottle of Ridge does.
I made this on a Sunday evening so that the hubby could keep the kidlet occupied while I stirred and stirred (and stirred some more), since you really can’t stop and start on risotto. All that stirring is what makes it so creamy and delicious!
Butternut Squash Risotto
Adapted from this recipe from Dinner with Daneman
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 Tbs butter, divided
1 Tbs olive oil
1-2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
splash white wine or dry vermouth
6-8 cups vegetable stock
2/3 cup grated parmesan, plus additional for garnish
6-8 fresh sage leaves (or about 1 tsp dried)
Preheat the oven to 400°. Melt 2 Tbs butter and toss with the butternut squash cubes. Spread the squash cubes out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone liner and roast in the oven until fork-tender, 30 to 45 minutes, tossing occasionally to ensure even browning. Remove the squash from the oven and purée about 3/4 of it in a food processor, setting the rest aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer while you make the risotto. Once the stock is hot, melt the remaining 2 Tbs butter with the olive oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat until the butter foams. Continue stirring until the butter turns light golden brown. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
Add the rice and stir to coat. Toast the rice, stirring constantly, until a little white dot forms in each piece of rice, about 3 minutes. Add a splash of wine or vermouth and stir until it evaporates, just a few seconds.
Add about a cup of stock to the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Keep adding stock by the ladleful and stirring while it absorbs, checking the texture after about 20 minutes. About halfway through the cooking, add the sage, if you are using dried. Otherwise, add it with the squash purée at the end. The final texture should be creamy and tender but with a little resistance to the bite.
Once you have reached your desired consistency, remove the rice from the heat and stir in the puréed butternut squash and parmesan and mix until fully incorporated. Stir in the cubed butternut squash and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, garnished with a good sprinkling of parmesan and/or fresh sage.