When we were at the Hills Health Ranch I had the opportunity to indulge in Butternut Squash Risotto. I have seen it in many different versions on other blogs by experienced risotto makers. You know who you are. I love risotto, but, have never attempted to make it outside of the classroom. I found a recipe for making it in a rice cooker but wanted to try my hand at preparing it in the traditional way. What I did enjoy about the rice cooker recipe was that it had the addition of mushrooms and feta cheese. LOVE that feta cheese!!!!!
**Butternut Squash Risotto**
1 small butternut squash
salt and pepper
1 small leek, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 handfuls of thickly sliced mushrooms
1-1/2 cups arborio rice
1 small cup white wine
1L (about 4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut into wedges and arrange on a baking tray or roasting pan. Sprinkle generously with freshly ground pepper and salt. Drizzle with olive oil; get in there with your hands. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender. When squash has cooled enough to handle take about half of the squash, remove the peel and add it to a bowl. Gently mash. Set aside.
Start the risotto. Heat the stock in a sauce pan over low heat. In a heavy saucepan or Dutch Oven add 1T butter and leeks. Saute over medium low heat for about 4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms in last few moments (be careful not to allow the garlic to brown). Increase the heat to medium. Add the arborio rice and cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook stirring often until almost absorbed. Start to add the stock a ladle or two at a time; stirring often while it absorbs. For every ladle of stock add a few spoonfuls of squash. Continue until your rice is just lightly al dente. Peel and roughly chop the remaining squash and add to rice. Stir in the Parmesan, feta cheese and remaining butter. Taste and adjust seasonings.