Free Range Nurse

Cooking therapy from a former travel nurse

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto April 7, 2010

Filed under: dinner,lunch,side dishes — freerangenurse @ 2:19 pm

As part of my fall in spring meal, I added this wonderfully delicious risotto recipe I came across on Epicurious.  I have to say that as tasty as the scallops were, this was the real show stopper.

Yes, this dish takes time.  Yes, this dish requires more than one pot (in fact, two pots and a sheet pan).  Yes, this dish requires constant stirring and supervision.  Yes, this dish is absolutely worth every ounce of trouble.  Creamy, hearty and with enough vegetables to almost consider it a health food….well, at least in this household.  My husband, who never eats vegetables of any kind, not only ate this, he even proclaimed it delicious!  Sure, he picked out the spinach, but he was blissfully unaware of the squash he was eating.  Yes, this dish is sneaky.

One very important tip here:  Be sure to prep all of the ingredients ahead of time so that you don’t have to do any chopping and measuring while trying to keep the rice in motion.

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

adapted from Gourmet, November 2001

Ingredients:

  • 2 pound butternut squash
  • 3.5 cups nonfat chicken broth
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Arborio rice
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh sage
  • 3 cups fresh, washed and dried baby spinach, stems discarded

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Halve the squash lengthwise and seed.  Season with salt.  Roast, skin side down in a shallow baking pan in the middle of the oven until tender and golden, about an 50 minutes.

Peel back dried tops of the squash to reveal soft flesh.  Scoop out and reserve.

Place chicken broth in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer.  Keep broth at a bare simmer

In a separate (3 quart) sauce pan, cook onion in butter over moderate heat, stirring until softened, about 6 minutes.  Add rice, garlic, and cumin and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

Stir in 1/2 cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed.  Continue simmering before adding the next, until rice is creamy looking, but still al dente.  There may be leftover broth.

Stir in squash, cheese, salt, sage and spinach and simmer, stirring for 1 minute.  If necessary, thin risotto with some leftover broth.

Serve immediately.

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