I love all kinds of squash. I've been on a butternut squash kick lately. I like it roasted, and plain with a little butter and parmesan cheese, made into soup, or risotto. Every year in the fall, Williams-Sonoma comes out with an organic version of butternut squash puree that is really good. Of course, I can roast and puree my own, but some work days, you want to throw dinner together in 30 minutes! Brad brought me home a couple of jars.
In the past two weeks, we have had a butternut squash risotto "smackdown". I made butternut squash risotto two ways: with caramelized onions, and with apple. The first recipe is from Williams-Sonoma.com. I reduced the butter, used two large onions, caramelized, and added LOTS more fresh sage.
7 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. minced fresh sage
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups butternut squash puree
2 Tbs. olive oil
2/3 cup caramelized onions
2 cups Arborio rice
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 Tbs. of the butter. Add 1 Tbs. of the sage and heat until the butter browns. Strain the butter into a small bowl and discard the sage. Cover the bowl to keep the butter warm.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the stock and squash puree. Bring just to a simmer, 8 to 10 minutes; maintain over low heat.
In a large saucepan or risotto pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the caramelized onions and rice and stir until the grains are well coated with the oil and are nearly translucent with a white dot in the center, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. sage and the rosemary. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed.
Add the simmering stock mixture a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently after each addition. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding more.
When the rice is tender to the bite but slightly firm in the center and looks creamy, after about 30 minutes, stir in the remaining 3 Tbs. butter, the cheese, salt and pepper. Add more stock if needed so the rice is thick and creamy. Let stand for 2 minutes. Drizzle with the reserved sage butter and serve immediately. Serves 6.
For the butternut-apple risotto, I used:
1 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 cup arborio rice
2 c. butternut squash puree
3 c. chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
Saute onion, apple and rice in olive oil for a few minutes. Add squash and chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally until rice is done (about 20 minutes).
My favorite was the first version with the caramelized onions. It was dark, rich and earthy. Brad loved the sweeter version with apple flavor. Both will stay in the recipe file! I still have another jar...