Thursday, June 16, 2011

Butternut Squash, Rosemary and Parmesan Risotto

Risotto is my ultimate comfort food. I love the process of cooking it and then it is simply an amazing dish to eat. Risotto is typically made with Arborio rice, which as it cooks becomes rich and creamy but still keeps a nice bite to it. I love cooking risotto because it takes some time to cook it but it's not overly complicated and just gives me some time to enjoy the process and watch the dish come together.

In this version the butternut squash adds an additional texture and the rosemary and fresh Parmesan add the layers of flavor that make every bite enjoyable. While I didn't add them on this dish, some pecans or walnuts sprinkled over the top would have added a perfect crunch to finish it off. The stock you use in Risotto is critical, so use the best you can get. I use my homemade turkey stock which has a really deep flavor that you can taste in the finished dish. If you don't have homemade available, use a good quality, low sodium stock.

Butternut Squash, Rosemary and Parmesan Risotto
adapted from Bon Appetit


7 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion
1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch dice (about 3 cups)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
2 cups arborio rice (about 12 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup apple juice 
3 cups (packed) baby spinach leaves (about 2.5-3 ounces)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese



Bring 7 cups broth to boil in large saucepan. Cover and reduce heat to low.
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add squash and 1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary; sauté 4 minutes to coat with butter. Add rice and stir 2 minutes. Add juice and simmer until evaporated, about 1 minute. Add 4 cups hot broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock 1/2 cup at a time until rice is just tender and risotto is creamy and slightly soupy, about 18 minutes. Stir in spinach, cream, and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer risotto to large bowl. Sprinkle with parmesan and remaining 1/2 teaspoon rosemary and serve.

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