roasted butternut squash & blue cheese risotto
i think risotto has gotten a bad rep as being a “pain in the ass” to make. granted, when making in large quantities, your arm can definitely get tired and be sure to keep a big glass of water handy because you might be over the stove for awhile, but when making it for dinner for your family, it really isn’t too bad. the thing i love most about risotto is that it can be prepared in SO MANY ways! it can be light for summer, rich for winter, and can even be made into risotto cakes! risotto cakes are great to serve under a nice piece of fish actually as a side, and makes for great presentation!
i decided to make this recipe since i still have some squash in the fridge from the butternut squash soup recipe from this past sunday, and because i hadn’t had risotto in ages! it is perfect for days like today – when the rain has set back in after a few beautiful fall seattle days. you can curl up with a bowl of this risotto, a good glass of white wine, and a good movie and feel like you’ve out-smarted the rain 🙂
when making this for dinner, remember that it is much more filling than pasta or rice… a little goes a long way in your tummy. i only used one cup of dry arborio rice and i have enough for three people for dinner. feel free to mix up the cheese as well if you’re not feeling the blue – you could go for cheddar or even brie! actually, if you make risotto cakes out of this recipe and leave the cheese out originally, you can stick a little piece of brie in the center of the cake and when you go to take a bite you get a nice little flowy stream of yummy brie along with it! alas, i’m getting ahead of myself a little, that’ll have to be another recipe for another day!
my one tip for making this recipe is to make sure you really let the risotto cook fully. it can be deceiving if you are only going by how it looks to judge when it’s done. i always say to add at least another cup full after you think it’s done because i guarantee it isn’t… take a bite when you think it’s done cooking, and if it has any real “al dente” bite to it, cook it a little bit longer. enjoy!!
serves about 3
1/2 a butternut squash (preferably the round end)
6 cloves garlic
1 cup risotto
5 cups chicken stock (or vegetable)
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sage
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
salt & pepper to taste
preheat the oven to 375.
cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. rub the squash in olive oil and place each half skin side up onto a baking sheet, placing 3 cloves of garlic under each “hole” where you removed the seeds. roast for about 45min-1 hour, until the squash is mashable. remove from the oven and scrape the squash out of the skin with a spoon.
combine the squash puree into a food processor with the sage and blue cheese and about 1/2 a cup of the stock and mix until smooth. set aside.
bring the stock to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer. meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. add the dry risotto and allow to cook for a minute or two before starting to add the stock – just make sure the risotto doesn’t burn. start adding the stock by about 2 ladles at a time, mixing until the liquid is absorbed until adding more. do this over medium heat until all the stock has been used. add in the squash mixture and stir thoroughly. allow to keep cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally until your preferred consistency – if you like your risotto runny, cook only until the squash mixture is heated through. if you like risotto a little thicker, keep cooking a little longer.