Thursday, December 9, 2010

Risotto with butternut squash and mushrooms

AKA leftover veggie risotto.  Risotto is the perfect one dish, cold weather meal. I love the quietness of standing in the kitchen, reading a book and drinking a glass of wine while stirring the rice. It takes about 30 minutes to cook, enough time to relax after a long day but not so much time that I'm ravenous before it finishes.

butternut squash and mushroom risotto
{butternut squash and mushroom risotto}

Risotto will take pretty much anything you throw at it - all you need is the basic technique. I had leeks, mushrooms that needed to get used quickly and a butternut squash, and they all came together beautifully. The sweetness of the butternut squash was the perfect contrast to the earthiness of the mushrooms. This is my favorite combination, and I'll sometimes add a bit of sliced proscuitto at the end, if I have it around. It adds a nice touch, but we didn't have it this time. You could easily sub a small onion for the shallots and leeks.

Butternut squash and mushroom risotto (serves 4 heartily)

For the risotto:
A chunk of butter (a few tablespoons)
1 shallot, diced
2 large leeks, sliced and washed
20 oz. sliced mushrooms, mix of crimini and white (this is just what I had - you could reduce this if you don't want piles of mushrooms)
1 cup arborio rice
4 - 5 cups hot liquid (I used 2 cups chicken broth, because I had it, and 3 cups water)
Small handful of sage leaves, diced
Dash of salt and pepper
Handful of grated Parmesan or other cheese

For the squash:
A couple tablespoons of olive oil
Sea salt + pepper
1 medium butternut squash, chunked

: Get your squash started - cube it and toss it with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread it out on a baking sheet in a single layer and pop it in a 400 degree oven. It will need 30 - 40 minutes.

: Make a basic risotto - start by sauteeing the shallots and the leeks in the butter over medium heat, until soft and golden. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute until they are soft and much reduced in size. Toss in the rice and stir it about for a couple of minutes, to coat it. Pour in a bit of hot liquid (step back - it's going to steam like crazy!) and stir it in. Add the chopped sage.

: Now comes the slow part. You have to stay in the kitchen so you can stir the risotto every few minutes. Once it absorbs the liquid you've added, add another cup. Continue doing this until the risotto is nice and soft but not mushy. Keep the liquid simmering briskly during this time. It usually takes about 30 minutes for me and you're adding liquid every 5 - 10 minutes. You may not need the entire 5 cups of liquid. When it's finished, the risotto will be creamy and tender but not mushy.

: Hopefully your risotto is finishing just as your squash is coming out of the oven. Dump the squash and the Parmesan cheese in the pot with the risotto. Stir everything together. Serve immediately.
 Apparently risotto is not supposed to be reheated, but I love it as leftovers and D agrees. Maybe we're just not very picky? 


  1. I love risotto and we always make it at home. I love discovering new recipes!

  2. We made something sooo similar to this last week & it was delicious!

    & I like the reheated leftovers too.

  3. looks great and i couldn't agree more...risotto's my favorite dish to make when it's cold out.

  4. i gotta say making rissotto while i'm pregnant just isn't as fun, what with the wine consumption.

  5. I swear, I have GOT to get better at making dinners at home. My cans of soup just aren't gonna cut it much longer. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I agree about the leftovers! I think it turns out fine the next day....

  7. i love the ritual of risotto-making too. need to try this combination asap. i love anything with butternut squash.

  8. Ohh this looks delicious! I'm absolutely the worst cook in the world but this looks relatively simple....

  9. a definitely favorite for the winter in our house!

  10. YUM, that looks delicious!
    We reheat risotto all the time. If it's wrong, I don't wanna be right.

  11. sounds absolutely delicious!!

  12. Delicious! I have a massive butternut squash that has just been sitting in my kitchen waiting to be used and this would be perfect! Thanks for the recipe!

  13. This looks delicious! I love risotto, thank you for reminding me of the perfect comforting meal.

  14. This recipe looks incredible - can't wait to try it!

  15. YUM!!!! This looks amazing, I can taste it glad I discovered your blog!!!

  16. that risotto looks divine! i love making it, all that chopping and stirring is so calming to me. ok, the glass of white wine i also have while making it is pretty good too!

  17. That looks soooo yummy. My go-to risotto is mushroom... but I like the idea of adding butternut squash in there as well. Come to think of it - I haven't had any butternut squash at all yet this season. That is a shame... I'll get on that at once! I love adding in a glass of white wine to the risotto before I add any water/broth... so that the wine is the first thing it soaks up. Before taking it off the heat, I pour in a little bit more so the flavor will linger. It's a nice little trick.

  18. so, I don't have any nice ingredients (the farmer's market shut down for the winter and the only produce is what's at wal-mart and kroger...), which meant that I had to use just rice and dried herbs, but I followed your technique (albeit with less butter for this cholesterol-watching girl) and the risotto was absolutely delicious! I used whole grain brown rice, and this method of cooking took the slight crunch/toughness out perfectly.

  19. Looks good for my tummy, it made me hungry.
    Brad Fallon


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