Monday, October 17, 2011

Butternut Squash Risotto

I am really excited about all the great fall produce in the market, such great colors and flavors and a sign of the changing seasons. Butternut squash may look a bit daunting but it's really easy to prepare and has a delicate sweet flavor that's delicious. Tonight we added it to a simple risotto and it turned out to be the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Sage is sometimes known as the Thanksgiving herb and it's because it pairs so well with squash and turkey and it is a great addition to this as well. The risotto requires a bit of attention and frequent stirring but it's worth it. Enjoy!

Recipe: (serves 4-6)
1/2 of medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (~3 cups)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (*Be sure you get Arborio or risotto rice, which has great starchiness, substituting another type of rice will not give the same results.)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2-3 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

Cut off the end of the squash so it stands up easily and carefully
run knife along all sides to peel through the thick skin
(my hubby demonstrates so well) :)

1. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat, add the cubed squash and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 8-10 minutes until tender.
2. Add broth to a saucepan over medium high heat to warm it up.
3. Add rice to the skillet and 1 cup of warmed broth, stir frequently until broth is absorbed. Continue to add warm broth by the 1/2 cup, stirring each time until the liquid is absorbed, cook about 15-20 minutes until all broth is absorbed and rice is tender.
4. Add Parmesan and chopped sage and stir to combine. Serve hot with some grilled chicken and steamed veggies or green salad.

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