2 December 2007

Butternut Squash Risotto

All across Canada today they are having winter storms. It is the perfect day to stay inside, stay off the roads and cook up a storm! Creating a storm in the kitchen is preferable to take away the edge of the icy conditions outside. Comfort at it's best!

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

olive oil

salt and pepper

2T butter

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.

Serves 4

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  1. Val, we just got dumped with snow and a risotto would hit the spot right now.

  2. Hi Valli,
    Your risotto looks delicious! My partner makes a similar risotto in the rice cooker. When we started living together, I only made the stove method (that was the only method I knew) and he was initially not used to the texture, it was funny because I had to take him to an Italian restaurant to prove to him how risottos are supposed to be cooked. Anyway, we still use the rice cooker at times for convenience. I read on Patricia's blog how we can make risotto in the oven!

    I love feta too :-)

    x nora

  3. Wow I love risotto and I love, love butternut squash, and I certainly love this dish that looks delicious

  4. I was talking to my mom & dad this morning and they have shovelled their driveway 2x so far today!
    I would like to know how to cook risotto in the oven as well Nora.
    The risotto was delicious...and the best part Sylvia is that I even have leftovers!!!!!

  5. Wow, I'm adding that to my growing list of recipes to try! It sounds delicious!

  6. Oh man, I can't begin to imagine what that is like, snow storms all around.

  7. Hi val, Your risotto looks comforting and warm. so nice to serve on a cold wintery day!!

  8. Hi Valli,
    Your risotto sounds great. I love butternut squash :)

  9. Ge..I would love the risotto...but it was 79 here today and I am in a tank top....


  10. With butternut squash and feta cheese, this is definitely a winner!

  11. Ohhh, the feta cheese sounds like such a nice addition. This sounds very tasty!

  12. Mmm ... leeks and mushrooms make a fabulous risotto! Sometimes, I throw in some white wine - adds a smooth buttery flavor to the it!

    We had crazy snow in seattle over the weekend. And now, it is raining enough to drown me!

  13. I love risotto...and I love the idea of that last addition of feta...very creative!
    Did you know that you can also make it in the oven? I've never tried it...I wouldn't have any reason to stand in the kitchen sipping wine if the risotto didn't need me!

  14. Butternut squash risotto is really good. It is sweet, creamy and cheesy. I like the use of the feta cheese for some extra saltiness.

  15. I love me some butternut risotto! I like making it with goat cheese :)

  16. i've been making rather a lot of squash risotto lately, but have never added mushrooms... one to remember for when my daughter is away, the only ones she eats are chocolate button mushrooms :-)


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