Butternut Squash Risotto
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
1 small butternut squash, about 1 ½ pounds
3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
½ teaspoon sea salt
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
1 yellow onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cup California short grain rice
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup grated parmesan, plus extra for serving
Olive oil, for serving
Black pepper, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 ̊F. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down in a roasting pan and add enough water in the pan to have a thin layer covering the bottom. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven. Steam roast the squash until tender, checking after about 30 minutes.
While squash is roasting, combine broth, water, and herbs in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let simmer while making the risotto.
To make the risotto, peel and mince the onion. Heat a large skillet with high sides over medium heat. Add olive oil followed by the onion. Cook until the onion is tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice and let cook for a minute. Add in the white wine and cook for another minute or two, until most of the wine is gone.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and add enough of the broth mixture to cover the rice. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add more broth and continue to repeat the process until the rice is creamy and just cooked through, 35 to 45 minutes. You might not use all the broth, taste occasionally starting after 30 minutes.
When the squash is done, scoop the squash out of the skin and place into a bowl. Mash with the heavy cream and salt. Alternatively, for a smoother puree, place in a blender and puree until smooth.
When the rice is just cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed, stir in the butternut squash puree and parmesan. Let cook for a couple of minutes, just until the puree is hot and has thickened slightly. Taste and add more salt as desired.
Divide the risotto into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of black pepper, and more parmesan as desired.
The butternut squash can be roasted ahead of time. Alternatively, this risotto can be made with frozen butternut squash. Simply cooked according to the directions on the package then puree with the cream and salt. Use the extra onion in the risotto.