My daughter turned me on to pureeing butternut squash. The butternut squash makes it so creamy and adds a sweet flavor to the dish.Jump to Recipe
My Best Butternut Squash Risotto is rich, creamy, earthy and delicious. It is so easy to make and is a very satisfying vegetarian or vegan dinner. As an aside, this week I had dinner with a buddy at LONGITUDE 315. The friendship is awesome and this South American dinner was amazing. I mention this because one dish we ordered was ARROZ LLANERO CON FLOR DE CALABAZA. This is a South American version of risotto. They called it creamy because they made it with a lot of butternut squash – almost like a sauce. The spices in the sauce were awesome. The creaminess added a layer of depth and created a vessel for the spices.
I realize rice is so universal throughout so many cultures. Some examples of rice dishes I have made from around the world include:
Here is a very cool link to cooking rice in eleven different cultures from Spain to West Africa to Malaysia and beyond – ELEVEN AROUND THE WORLD RICE DISHES. Have you had paella? That is the Spanish version and I love it. How about Bibimbap? That is the South Korean version and has so many great flavors. Or Biryani? The Indian version. Bottom line is rice is such a great vessel to take on so many flavors.
With a little bit of patience, risotto is so easy to make. The key I have learned is to make sure the stock that you are adding is hot. It is that simple. You just add the stock a ladle at a time and let the arborio rice absorb the liquid. Don’t rush the addition of the stock by making sure that almost all the liquid is absorbed before adding more. In this recipe, the creaminess of the butternut squash also really makes this step easy.
The cast of characters.
Developing the butternut squash risotto.
The Best Butternut Squash Risotto plated.
Best Butternut Squash Risotto
Rice is such a great vessel to pick up flavors. My Best Butternut Squash Risotto is meaty with the mushrooms and so creamy from the squash.
- 2 Cups Arborio rice
- 1 Whole Butternut Squash cubed and small dice
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 Whole Yellow onion diced
- 3 Cups Vegetable stock
- 1 – 2 Cup Butternut squash puree
- 1 Pint Mushrooms sliced
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 Cup White wine
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tsp Ground Black pepper
- 2 Tsp Oregano
Begin by roasting the butternut squash for 40 – 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let cool. Hold the small dice for plating. Place the rest of the roasted squash in a blender and puree until all the squash is mixed. Set aside.
Next, heat the oil in a large coated pan – I used my Staub cast iron. Once warm, add the onion and spices – cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the vegetable stock in a pot and simmer. As well as saute the mushroom until the water is cooked out and they have browned. Set aside when done.
Next, add the arborio rice to the onions and toast for 2 minutes stirring frequently.
Begin adding the stock to the rice one to two ladles at a time and heat on medium high heat. Stir consistently and once the stock is absorbed, begin adding more stock gradually. After the second stock has been absorbed, add the butternut squash. Mix well and let some of the liquid cook out. Begin adding more stock now a ladle at a time. Check the rice for doneness. If the rice is not soft, continue adding stock until the rice is complete. Finish by adding in the mushrooms, parmesan cheese and small diced butternut squash. Cook for 2 more minutes and mix well.
Serve and enjoy!