I have a confession. I’m an addict. And my source of addiction? This vegetable, the butternut squash. As you can deduct from the title, it’s the main attraction in today’s lunch special, butternut squash risotto.
Such a dreamy little thing, isn’t it? I know guys, this butternut squash obsession of mine is getting a little out of hand. Trust me, I know. I just can’t quit it. It gives everything it’s in such an incredibly creamy, butter flavor. And it’s insanely good for you and only has 82 calories per cup. I also love that you can prepare it about 100 different ways. Mash, roast, bake, puree, saute. The only way you really can’t eat it is raw. I decided to dice, roast and puree this hearty squash so I could pair it with these two ingredients, arborio rice and fresh parmesan. Why? Well, to make risotto you silly person.
And not just any ol’ risotto friends. The creamiest, most delicious, most addictive risotto ever. I mean, just ask my husband. He ate LITERALLY 3/4 of the pan.
Now, I’ve had risotto a few times in my life, but I’m going to be honest, this is the best I’ve ever had. And I’m not just tooting my own little horn here, I think it had nothing to do with me and more to do with the incredible flavor you get from the squash and rosemary. Those two? Should stay together. Maybe have a kid. Move to the burbs or something. Not only do the flavors compliment each other perfectly, the rosemary is strong and bold while the squash is softer and more mild, they contrast in colors. The vibrant green on top of the softer yellow makes for a very visually appealing plate, don’t you think?
Want to hear something a little crazy? So, remember how I made this butternut squash scramble for breakfast on Tuesday? Well, erm. You’re looking at what I ate for dinner that same day. I KNOW. Butternut squash two ways in one day. One hot, almost 100 degree day IN JULY. Isn’t that absurd?
I guess that’s what makes me different? Or unique? No? Just stark, raving mad? That’s fine by me. Now excuse me while I roast some more squash in the dead of summer. (I say with a mad scientist tone of voice). Muahah!
Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe
Serves about 6. Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- About 1 pound butternut squash, diced
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup arborio rice
- About 1/3 cup dry white wine (I used Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay)
- 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 1/4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Liberal dashes of salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter, divided
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place butternut squash in a 3-quart deep baking dish. Cover with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, stir the mixture around to ensure the pieces evenly cook, and bake another 20 minutes, or until soft. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Pour slightly cooled squash into the body of an 8 cup food processor (or do two batches). Add about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth and pulse on low until creamy and smooth. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Measure 1 1/3 cups of puree (what you need for this recipe) and save the rest for a later date.
- Heat remaining vegetable broth in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add butternut squash puree and whisk lightly to mix up. Let simmer for about 10 minutes or until a slight boil.
- Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tablespoon butter in a large pan (I used a wok) on medium heat. Add onions and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add in garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Pour in rice, rosemary and oregano. Cook about 1 minutes. Add wine and cook until it’s fully absorbed, about 5 minutes. Gradually add in butternut squash/broth mixture, a large spoonful at a time, waiting until each batch as fully absorbed before you add in more.
- After the last spoonful of broth has been added, cook risotto an additional 5 – 10 minutes, or until the rice is soft and creamy. Add remaining butter and remove from heat. Once butter has melted, add in parmesan cheese and additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with a garnish of rosemary and a dash more freshly grated parmesan.
Nutritional information per serving:
Fat: 8 grams
Carbohydrates: 33 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 6