I am about as happy to see November as I am to see January. I do not like this month and its leaves that fall from the trees and its light that vanishes from the sky entirely too soon.
November is simply stripped of color, and I find that depressing. Why is it the end of something so nice, October, must mark the beginning of something I dislike so very much?
Poor November, does it have any redeeming qualities? I suppose the fact that it hosts my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, should count for something. And the opportunity to continue cooking with fall squash should count for something too.
I recently ate one of the most delicious grilled cheese sandwiches made with provolone, butternut squash and caramelized onion. And I can’t wait to try a recipe for butternut squash macaroni & cheese. But it’s this dish, butternut squash risotto, that is one of my top recipes for autumn. I made the dish a few times last fall, and it apparently made quite an impression.
The butternut squash risotto is hearty, flavorful, and delicious. As I took my first bite of the dish this fall, I realized the Parmesan cheese really does make “cheesy” an accurate description.
In the past, I made the dish as originally written with chicken broth and thyme. This time around, I used beef broth and sage. Both were delicious. The dish takes a bit of time to prepare, but it is worth the effort. Enjoy!
- 2½ cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 cups (one box) chicken, beef or vegetable broth
- ½ cup yellow or white onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup risotto
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon minced thyme or sage
- zest of one lemon
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese
- Toss butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread the butternut squash in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Roast in a 400 degree oven until tender, about 25 minutes, turning once halfway through.
- While the squash roasts, bring the broth to a boil and the simmer over low heat.
- Also while the squash roasts, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until softened, about six minutes.
- Place the risotto in the skillet with the onion and garlic and cook,stirring constantly, for two minutes.
- Pour the wine into the skillet and stir constantly until absorbed.
- Add ½ cup of broth, the thyme or sage, and the lemon zest to the skillet.
- Stir frequently until the wine is absorbed.
- Continue to add the broth ½ cup at a time to the skillet, stirring frequently after each addition until absorbed.
- When the risotto is tender, about 30 minutes, remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Gently fold in the butternut squash and garnish with the thyme or sage.