Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash

by byn on January 24, 2011

in Vegetarian

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I’ve always assumed making risotto is a lengthy process, based on what I’ve seen on the Food Network.  I’ve never made it at home, because it seems kind of intimidating, and I hate wasting time and ingredients on things that don’t turn out.  Nevertheless, I know I need to work on this, so I bought a bag of arborio rice, and with a few good intentions, and some leftover butternut squash, I made this happen.

This risotto is such a nice, cozy meal, perfect for days like today when it’s -30 with the windchill out there. You get to crank the oven to roast the squash, and then stand over a warm stovetop as you stir, stir, stir away, so you’ll be toasty in no time.  I made this on a weeknight and it took no time at all. While the squash roasts, you get your risotto mixture going, and just stir everything together at the end. I ate mine with a big green salad, and the leftovers made an amazing lunch at work the next day.

Tangent alert! Do you bring your lunch to work, or buy it from a food court? When I cook dinner, I always make enough to bring to work the next day. It can get kind of awkward in the little kitchen where our microwaves are. Picture my co-workers standing around waiting to heat up their Lean Cuisines or Michelina’s frozen meals. Someone usually asks what I’ve got for lunch, and then I have to explain what I have, which ranges from butternut squash and chickpea salad to spanakopita to leftover pulled pork. This often elicits weird looks or a lot of “how long did it take you to make that?” comments, and I feel so embarrassed. Then I get mad because they should be embarrassed, not me!  Should I just embrace it, and be proud of my lunch? Probably, but most days I just want to heat up my lunch and move on with my life, instead of having to defend my cooking preferences with my nosy co-workers. Rant over. Make this for dinner and bring the leftovers (proudly) for lunch!

Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash

Source: Patent and the Pantry

Ingredients

1 lb peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp coarse salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 onion, diced

3/4 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine (if you don’t have it, just use more broth)

3 cups chicken broth

2 tbsp butter

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Toss the squash with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt & pepper, and roast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Toss halfway through cooking.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil, and saute onion for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add rice, and stir until the grains are coated. Add wine, stir, and let it reduce slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, pour the broth into a microwave safe measuring cup or bowl, and heat in microwave for about 1-2 minutes or until hot. (You can also do this in a separate saucepan on the stove, but this microwave trick is a great shortcut).
  4. Add one cup of stock, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the stock has been absorbed, about 5-10 minutes.  Add the next cup of stock and repeat, then add the last cup, and repeat again until the stock is all absorbed. (It actually doesn’t take too long).
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in butter (as much or little as you want – it’s plenty creamy without it) and cheese. Stir in the roasted squash, and season the whole thing with salt and pepper.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina February 1, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Yummy!! I love risotto! I need to try this recipe…I bet it is delicious! :)

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Leianne January 31, 2011 at 1:26 am

mmm risotto! i try to bring my lunch as much as possible. it’s cheaper, healthier and tastes better! people eating lean cuisines should definitely be embarassed. at my work kitchen we’re always jealous of the person heating up their fresh, homemade (and infinitely more delicious) stuff.

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Kristine January 29, 2011 at 8:14 am

Yum! I love risotto! Your co-workers are just jealous! Who wouldn’t want this over lean cuisine?

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Jill January 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm

just ignore the odd people in this place who scrunch up their face at you. you are the one eating a delicious homemade meal – so you win!

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