I have always thought that making a risotto was too time-consuming, but with our family leaning more and more toward vegetarian meals, I decided I was going to have to just give it a try. Turns out it's not that finicky and doesn't seem to take any longer than any other supper meal we eat. I have added this recipe to my regular rotation. Well I would add it if I had a regular rotation.
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into small bite-size cubes
1-½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ tablespoon hazelnut oil
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1 bud of garlic
1 onion., chopped finely
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups vegetable stock
½ cup Riesling (I used Greetings from
) Niagara, Ontario
¼ to ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Start by peeling and dicing the butternut squash. Drizzle with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Cut the top off of a bud of garlic, drizzle with a smidgen of olive oil and pepper. Wrap the garlic in tin foil.
Throw both the squash and the garlic into a 450 degree oven. I used a cast iron skillet. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until squash is tender which will depend on small your bite-size is. Garlic may need a little longer. I left mine in the oven, with the oven turned off, until the risotto was finished. Honestly, I left mine in there until I was done eating, completely forgetting to put it into the risotto. Don’t do that, put it in the risotto.
In the meantime, warm the vegetable stock in a small pot on the stovetop and keep warm. To another saucepan, add ½ tablespoon of olive oil, ½ tablespoon of hazelnut oil, and the onion. Cook until somewhat softened. Add the rice and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to let the rice burn. Add ½ cup of the Riesling wine and cook until it is absorbed. Add ½ ladle of stock to the rice. When it is absorbed, add another ½ ladle of stock and continue until the stock is gone and the rice is al dente.
When the rice is nearly finished, add the cooked squash, salt and pepper to taste, the roasted garlic (unless you prefer to forget it in the oven), and the ½ cup of Parmesan cheese.
Serve with hazelnut oil drizzle and fresh Parmesan cheese over top.
A sprinkle of toasted pepitas would be a fabulous addition to the toppings. I had tried to toast some pepitas in a small skillet on the stovetop but as I am notorious to do I forgot about them and let them burn. Here is a picture of how they look on top in all their burnt darkness.
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