ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO
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Naturally sweet chunks of butternut squash meld into this creamy risotto, giving it a beautiful orange color and delectable taste. It can be served as a first course or the main event.
- 1 (3-pound) butternut squash
- Salt to taste
- About 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, low fat preferred
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 11/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- 4 ounces (6 cups loosely packed) clean baby spinach
- COOK'S NOTES: If you have leftover risotto, make risotto cakes. Chill leftovers. Form into 3 inch-wide patties. Dip into beaten egg and coat with mixture of fresh bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese. Heat 2-3 teaspoons olive oil in nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add cakes and cook until browned on each side and heated through.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard seeds. Season with salt. Place cut side down on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 40-50 minutes. Scoop out flesh and cut into 1/2-inch chunks.
- Place broth in medium saucepan and place on low heat. In large, deep skillet, melt butter on medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add rice, garlic, and cumin; cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Add wine; stir. Cook until wine is absorbed. Reduce heat to medium.
- Add enough broth to barely cover rice mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth; stir constantly, simmering until broth absorbs. Continue in same manner, adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, and letting it absorb before adding more. Repeat until rice is very creamy and cooked al dente. (There may be broth leftover.) Stir in squash, cheese, salt, sage, and spinach. Simmer 1 minute. If necessary, add more broth to maintain creaminess. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve in shallow individual bowls.