Add butternut squash for a sweeter risotto

ButternutSquashRisotto022215

When I make risotto, I usually add asparagus and a couple drops of white truffle oil and call it a day. But last week I wanted to play around and see what I could come up with. The result was a butternut squash risotto that I will definitely make again.

I like the natural sweetness of butternut squash, so I thought it would be a good starting point to choose a different vegetable to add. That gave me direction in choosing the rest of the seasonings for the risotto, which ended up being slightly sweet, really creamy, and full of flavor.

Beware if you’re cooking for one, because this makes a large amount of risotto. If you just want enough for a few servings for yourself, I recommend cutting the recipe in half.

Ingredients
1 large butternut squash
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine (I used riesling)
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter, cut into smaller cubes
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of white pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Peel the butternut squash and remove the seeds. Place the butternut squash, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Rub with cooking oil or spray with cooking spray. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until squash is tender.

Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add a splash of cooking oil, the onion, and the garlic. Once onions are translucent, add rice and stir until slightly browned. Turn heat to medium-high and add riesling. Simmer until wine is absorbed. Stir. Add 2 cups of the chicken broth and simmer until absorbed. Add the remaining two cups and simmer until absorbed. Add cream and stir until just combined. Rice should be tender. Turn off heat. Add butter and seasoning ingredients. Cut squash into small cubes and stir into risotto. Serve.

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Fresh spring risotto features beautiful flavors

springrisotto052814Every once in a while, I just want risotto. My favorite thing to do with this creamy rice dish is to add shredded cheese and a bit of white truffle oil. Though it takes a bit of time to make, it’s easy and delicious. I always make more than I need so I have leftovers.

The inspiration for this particular flavor combination came from dinner at a Seattle restaurant. They were able to make their risotto light by using fresh citrus and asparagus. It was a nice change from my usual flavor combination. At home, I decided to add basil to my version, and it was the best addition I could have made. That fresh basil flavor really complemented the rest of the dish. If you do garnish with truffle oil, do so sparingly because the flavor is really strong. A few drops will do.

Ingredients
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups chicken broth
8 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound of frozen peas, cooked
Two small lemons
1/2 teaspoon salt
White truffle oil (optional)
Fresh basil leaves

Sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat until onion becomes translucent.

Add rice and stir for about two minutes.

Stir in 1 cup of broth. Cook and stir until broth is absorbed. Stir in the rest of the broth, one cup at a time, until each cup is absorbed.

Stir in peas, asparagus, lemon juice, and salt.

Garnish each serving with a few drops of truffle oil and a few leaves of fresh basil.