Sunday, March 16, 2014

Butternut Squash Risotto

The other day, I mentioned a delicious dinner I made with my favorite pork tenderloin recipe and some butternut squash risotto.  Seriously, this risotto is amazing.  I set out to find a butternut squash risotto recipe essentially for the clever baby.  One of the first things he enjoyed eating was risotto!  He absolutely refused all pureed foods, so once he was able to eat food with texture, I tried risotto and he devoured it!  I went from rarely making risotto to making it a lot more often!  In addition, one day I roasted some butternut squash for him and he loved it as well.  What is not to love about butternut squash?  It is so delicious!  Thus, I decided to find a butternut squash risotto recipe for us, but also because I thought my little guy would love it.  He did, as did the rest of us.  Honestly, I could have eaten that entire bowl you see.  I didn't, but I did have to move the bowl further from my reach so I couldn't keep getting more!

The recipe is from the Pioneer Woman.  That woman knows what she is talking about with this amazing butternut squash risotto!  Yes, risotto takes some attention and a bit of TLC, this is worth it!

Butternut Squash Risotto
adapted from the Pioneer Woman

1/2 whole butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
3 TB butter
1 TB olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 whole onion, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
6 cups (approximately) vegetable broth or chicken stock, low-sodium
salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup heavy cream, use less if desired
1/2 cups fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
finely minced parsley, for serving

Heat 1 TB butter and olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add the butternut squash and sprinkle with kosher salt, pepper and chili powder.  Cook, stirring gently, until squash is golden brown and tender.  Remove to a plate and set aside.
Heat the broth in a saucepan over low heat.  Keep warm.

Add the remaining 2 TB butter to the skillet over medium-low heat.  Saute the onions for 2-3 minutes, until they are translucent.  Add the rice and stir, cooking for 1 minute.  

Reduce the heat to low.  Begin adding the warm broth to the skillet in 1 cup increments, gently stirring until the broth is absorbed.  Once the liquid disappears from the skillet, add another cup of broth.  Continue, stirring gently as the broth incorporates and the rice becomes tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste at some point during this broth/stirring process.

Once you have used about 5 cups of broth, taste the rice.  You want the rice to be tender, but with some bite left.  Add another 1 or 2 cups of warm broth as needed.

When the rice is tender, add the cooked squash and turmeric.  Stir gently.  Add a splash of cream and the Parmesan cheese and stir until combined.  Add more cream as desired.  Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Sprinkle with minced parsley and serve.
Printable Recipe

Caution:  This risotto is downright dangerous.  I couldn't stop eating it!  I mean really, risotto is amazing itself.  It takes rice to a whole new creamy and delicious level.  Add butternut squash to that and you have something that might just make your eyes roll into the back of your head!  Yum.  And the clever baby thought it was amazing as well.  In fact I froze some for him in an ice-cube tray, and it re-heated quite well for him.  I am certain that if he could talk, he would tell you to make this risotto!

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