4 April 2009

Taste & Create

For those of you who frequent my blog you know that I try never to miss the Taste & Create event which gets bigger and bigger each and every month. It is the brainchild of Nicole over at For the Love of Food . I love to visit her site for all the delicious recipes and tidbits of very helpful information. She even has an on-line store with wonderful kitchen gadgets and gourmet foods. We are paired with another foodie and prepare a dish from their site for the event. I love this idea so I can showcase someone elses talents and have the pleasure or creating something delicious as well.

This month I was paired with Ace & Yoko from Spilt Wine & Sticky Rice. They made it very hard to come to a decision on what I should prepare from their site. Should it be Chicken Pot Pies ,
Cinnamon Scones or The Empress Marin ated Mahi Tuna . I decided upon...Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto as a last hurrah to winter here in Canada. It is barbecue season ladies and gents, but this made a delicious addition to the grilled lamb chops, although risotto is equally as delicious when it stands alone.

**Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto**

3 lb butternut squash
6 cups nonfat chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T unsalted butter
1 -1/2 cups Arborio rice (9 oz)
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground cumin
5 T (approximately) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 oz)
1 tsp salt
1 -1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon dried
4 oz arugula or baby spinach (6 cups), stems discarded and leaves very coarsely chopped (I didn't have the arugula this time around either Ace and Yoko)

Roast squash:Preheat oven to 450°F.

Halve squash lengthwise and seed, then cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch-wide slices and season with salt. Roast slices, skin side down, in a shallow baking pan in middle of oven until tender and golden– anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half.

Set aside 6 crescent-shaped squash slices for serving and keep warm. Cut flesh from remaining slices into 1/2-inch pieces, discarding skin.

While the squash is roasting, start making the risotto:Bring broth to a simmer and keep at a bare simmer, covered.

Meanwhile, cook onion in butter in a heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add rice, garlic, and cumin and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes, until fragrant.

Stir in 1/2 cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is creamy-looking but still al dente (it should be the consistency of thick soup). Check the consistency sometime after 4 1/2 cups, and keep checking thereafter. You want to be able to bite into a grain of rice and not have it crunch, but have a little give to it, not too mushy. There will be leftover broth.

Stir in squash pieces, then stir in cheese, salt, sage, and arugula and simmer, stirring, 1 minute. (If necessary, thin risotto with some leftover broth.)

Serve risotto with reserved squash slices.
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  1. I made butternut squash too last night, but I didn't roast the squash first. I'll bet that gave it a much sweeter flavor.

  2. Nice choice Val! Sounds very tasty indeed :)

  3. Your risotto looks great! It's one of my favorite dishes.

    I enjoyed participating in Taste & Create, and look forward to doing it again!

  4. That's one of my favorite risotti! Very tasty!

    Cheers and have a nice weekend,


  5. I got so excited as I waited for this page to load and I saw the first corner of your photo. I thought, "Is that risotto I see loading up?" I was very excited to see I had guessed correctly. Another winner of a recipe from you!

  6. This is one of my favorite types of risotto.

  7. The roasted squash is a wonderful addition to this risotto Val!

  8. What a great way to get the little ones to eat squash! This looks great.

    Congratulations, Val you are a winner in my Hydralicious giveaway!!

    Send me your address so I can mail 2 coupons to you asap!

  9. It looks gorgous Val, but then everything you make is wonderful.

  10. Oooh, what a beautiful risotto! I love your photo with the gorgeous flower!

  11. P.S. I just wrote a post bragging about your scones! ;-) I hope you don't mind... :-)

  12. I love butternut squash risotto and I bet it would be fabulous with lamb!

  13. great selection, val, and really nice execution. this is an event i always try to do too--there's a lot of good stuff out there in blog-land.

  14. I love risotto and yours sounds very tasty.

  15. Something about roasting butternut squash that makes it beautiful. So bummed I have missed the last couple of months of T&C.

  16. I adore risotto, but never thought to make it with squash. Fantastic combination of flavours here.

  17. Being a good German girl, you know that I am powerless against a turnover. They're my kryptonite. Yours look amazing.

  18. nice choice, Val. The risotto looks great.

  19. Butternut squash always works so well with a risotto. Yumm.

  20. Oh - one of my all-time favourite winter comfort foods!


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