This is a hearty dish perfect for late fall or winter. It’s also wonderful with any root vegetable like turnip, carrot, parsnip, rutabaga, and sweet potato. If you don’t want to bother cutting the squash many stores offer it pre-cut.
For more nutrition, use the same amount of barley as rice, except soak it in cold water for 5 minutes, then drain. It takes longer to cook but is very tasty. This dish can be made gluten-free, just make sure the broth is labeled gluten-free and skip the barley.
Butternut Squash Risotto
Makes 4-6 servings
2-3 shallots, minced (can substitute 1 onion, chopped)
1-2 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
Butternut squash (about ½ of a large), peeled, seeded, chopped
1 cup of arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine or sherry
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth, heated
2 Tbl unsalted butter
Chopped fresh sage or thyme
1. Heat oil and butter in large pot. Sauté the shallots with pepper until soft and golden. Add garlic and salt and stir for 1 minute.
2. Add squash and cook until squash begins to soften, stirring. Add the rice and stir, then add the wine or sherry. Cook until wine/sherry is absorbed.
3. Stir in 1/2 cup broth and stir, keeping at a simmer throughout, until absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Allow each addition to be absorbed before adding next and until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still firm, about 18 minutes.
4. Add butter at the end to add extra creaminess, and chopped sage or thyme for flavor. If you don’t have fresh herbs, add ½ tsp of one or the other in step 1 when you add the shallots.