Thursday, November 20, 2008

Challenge One, Round Two - Butternut Squash

I had plenty of leftover squash from the Butternut Squash Challenge and decided to find some recipes to use the rest of it. The poor thing sat languishing in the refrigerator for a couple days so I roasted it with a bit of butter and brown sugar to eke out a few more days. And it sat for a couple more days before I got the motivation to play with it a little bit. I'm so glad I did! This risotto was fantastic! I added the cubed butternut squash right at the end only to warm them as I did not want them to get mushy, but it would be equally delicious with the addition of pureed squash.

Butternut Squash Risotto
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 tbs butter (I used Smart Balance)
3/4 Arborio rice (any short-grain rice will do)
1/4 cup dry white wine
3-4 cups chicken stock, heated
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 cups roasted butternut squash, cubed

Melt butter on low to medium heat in heavy bottom skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened but not browned. Add rice and toss to coat. Cook 2-3 minutes to toast rice. Add wine and cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly.

When wine is absorbed, add 1/3 chicken stock and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Add another third stock and keep stirring until liquid is absorbed. Begin tasting about 15 minutes after starting to cook rice. The ideal texture should be soft with a bit of resistance when biting into it. The amount of liquid will vary, so don't be surprised if not all is used.

Add parmesan and stir vigorously until absorbed. Add butternut squash cubes and stir to warm.

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