Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Butternut Squash Risotto


Now that it's finally fall I can dedicate more time to my blog. My boys love it when I blog, not because I'm on my computer more, but because I am in the kitchen more cooking them delicious meals! This weekend we went to our farm house in Ellicottville. It has been quite a week for me, so a little rest and relaxation in the country was just what the doctor ordered. We enjoyed amazing wine and food all weekend. We also enjoyed shopping in town and buying new skis for the boys, telling stories by the bonfire of which Nate made us keep guessing who he had a crush on (shocking he fessed-up this information!), hot tubbing, sleeping in, petting and holding a pot belly pig (yep), and watching the movie San Andreas which wasn't that good in my opinion. Sometimes weekends are best when there is no agenda and you do whatever you feel like in the moment. And that's exactly what our weekend was all about…ahhhhh!

In my last blog post I mentioned that I recently joined a CSA (Community Supported/Shared Agriculture) through Native Offerings Farm and am loving it. It's only been my first week but I've already created some amazing dishes with my generous share of vegetables and fruit. The first recipe I am going to share with you is Butternut Squash Risotto. Risotto is one of Dave's favorite foods and butternut squash is one of my favorite fall vegetables, so I figured why not marry the two ingredients and create Butternut Squash Risotto. Well it was marriage made in heaven! Risotto is not the easiest to prepare but once you get the hang of it, it's actually not so bad. You just need to dedicate about 20 minutes babysitting your risotto to get perfectly creamy results. Risotto is made from arborio rice which is an italian short grain rice. Making risotto is so versatile that you can literally add any ingredient and it will taste amazing…ok, maybe not any ingredient, but you get a point. I'm so happy that I grabbed some butternut squash from my farm share this week. I typically buy the butternut squash already peeled, cleaned and cut from Wegmans because it's a total time saver in the kitchen. But quite honestly that short cut is no comparison to preparing your own! Nothing beats farm to table fresh veggies so peeling, deseeding and dicing my own butternut squash was way worth it. And my family thought so too!

We served the butternut squash risotto with chicken cutlets and an arugula salad using all of the vegetables from my farm share. It was a delicious fall meal which we all enjoyed. Salute to butternut squash risotto and salute to using the freshest vegetables from my CSA farm share!

The multi-step process in making butternut squash risotto
is so worth it.
Adding the parmesan cheese to the risotto..yum!
Butternut squash, leeks, sage and garlic sauteing while the risotto cooks through.
Picture perfect butternut squash
Butternut squash risotto...a creamy and savory dish
that's perfect in the fall months. 

I served the butternut squash risotto with chicken cutlets
and an arugula salad using ingredients from my CSA share.
Proud father moment...teaching your son how
to open a bottle of wine.
A glass of wine by the bonfire...bliss!
Boy's new skis!
Isn't this pot belly pig the cutest? We ran into the breeder who was introducing the pig named Trixie to her new owner. The boys want a pig as a pet now!

Butternut Squash Risotto

Serves 6

Preparation and cook time: 45 minutes


Ingredients

SERVINGS: 6
  • tablespoons olive oil, divided
cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled butternut squash


6 garlic cloves diced

2 tablespoons butter

  • cup sliced leeks 
  • tablespoon chopped fresh sage 
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 14-ounce cans warm chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt n pepper

For risotto: Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a small sauce pan and keep warm.  In a separate saucepan add olive oil over medium heat and sauté garlic until softened. Add rice and salt n pepper and stir for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of chicken broth to rice and stir. When broth has absorbed add another cup until absorbed and keep doing this until rice is tender but still a little firm. Add the parmesan cheese to risotto and stir. 

For butternut squash: Meanwhile, as broth is being added to risotto, start sauteing the butternut squash and leeks with olive oil and butter in separate medium pan over medium heat. You will have 3 pans on stovetop and multi-tasking! Continue to saute butternut squash and leeks until softened, about 10 minutes or so.  Add the thyme and sage to the butternut squash and stir. 

When risotto and butternut squash is cooked through add butternut squash to risotto and gently stir. Divide among 6 plates and add sage on top.

Food Impressions:

Nate: For whatever reason Nate decided he didn't like butternut squash today...go figure. Luckily I decided to dice and saute the squash and add it to the risotto in the last step. Some recipes call for pureeing the butternut squash and blending in the risotto during the cooking process. For Nate I was able to give him a side of plain risotto which is amazing in itself since it has the flavorful chicken broth and parmesan cheese. It was a win-win.

Tyler: "This risotto is really good and I like that the squash tastes really sweet."

Zachary: "Yum, it's pretty tatsty" I could tell Zachary preferred the chicken on his plate.

Dave: "I like this a lot; it's says fall."

Andrea: I think I liked this recipe most of anyone in my family. Hey, butternut squash is one of my favorite fall veggies so it was a huge hit with me! 






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