Monday, December 26, 2011

~Butternut Squash Risotto~

picture from

Martha Stewart Living Television

  • Yield Makes 6 first-course servings

  • Ingredients

    • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), trimmed and peeled
    • 3/4 cup mild oil, preferably sunflower-seed oil
    • 1/4 small onion, diced
    • Coarse salt
    • 1 1/2 pounds (3 cups) Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice
    • 8 cups hot Vegetable Broth
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • Aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling


    1. Cut squash lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Cut each half into 4 pieces. Using a knife or mandoline, slice squash pieces 1/8 inch thick. Set aside.
    2. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add squash, season with salt, and add enough water to cover. Cook, simmering, until squash easily breaks apart, about 20 minutes. Stir in rice, then add a cup of broth. Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, adding one cup of broth at a time, as necessary; the rice should almost completely absorb the broth between additions.
    3. Add cheese, stirring to incorporate, then continue cooking, adding broth as necessary, until rice is al dente and mixture moist but not watery, about 8 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in butter, and adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary. Divide risotto between 6 serving plates, and drizzle with vinegar. Serve immediately.
    It's a good thing..or is it?

    Risotto will always remind me of my friend Kim. While I was studying at UCLA, Kim and I were in the same Physics class together.  One night, while chatting on the phone, she told me about the risotto that she was making.  "Risotto is so good!" Kim exclaimed. I have since forgotten her exact description of the risotto but I do remember how much I wanted to try it.  Years later I have finally made risotto for my family.  

    The butternut squash risotto was out of this world!  The creamy flavor from the cheese combined with the orzo rice and vegetable broth made this a very tasty dinner.  To coax the kids into trying the risotto I called it, "cheesy rice".  It worked!

    Photo Gallery

    The skinless butternut squash before it was chopped.

    The ingredients are prepped and ready.

    The onion, squash, salt and water simmered for twenty minutes until the squash easily broke apart. 

    I could not find the Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice at our local grocery store.  Instead I used Orzo pasta.  It seemed to work out well despite the switch.

    The vegetable broth was added to the risotto in small batches while letting the broth simmer down.  I found that it was very important to add the broth one cup at a time.  Otherwise the risotto will turn into a soup.   

    Say cheese!  Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese makes any dish come alive.

    The aged balsamic vinegar(shown below) mellowed out the strong flavor of the Parmesan cheese.  
    The butternut squash risotto will definitely be making a second appearance in our kitchen. 

    ~Dinner Was Served~


    eclecicarl said...

    Risotto is indeed made from rice. Orzo is seed-shaped pasta, not rice. Why not just call this Butternut Pasta, delete this page, or re-do it.

    The Green Mama said...

    Dear Dad,

    Ooops! I made a mistake. Orzo is a pasta, not a rice. I learned something new, yet again. Thank you!