It feels like it’s 90 degrees in my apartment (thanks to building management who turned on the heat two weeks ago) and here I am standing in front of my oven set to 350F while stirring risotto in my small kitchen. Am I a glutton for good food or what? And to think I thought it was bad yesterday when I was simply roasting a chicken…
Anyways, back to the point of this post: this amazing butternut squash and caramelized onion risotto. It’s an easy recipe with the main requirements being patience and attention. Plus, I actually made two recipes out of the ingredients in the same time it would take to make one. The second dish, roasted butternut squash, will be perfect for lunch tomorrow.
The reason I made two dishes was because I used only half a smallish butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds) for the risotto. So, rather than wrapping the remaining squash and refrigerator for some random future use, I diced the entire thing and mixed half in a baking dish with a pinch of cinnamon, brown sugar and olive oil. I then roasted it in a 350F oven while cooking the risotto.
Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion Risotto
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 butternut squash (about 3/4 pound), peeled, seeded and diced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a wide pot or large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring every few minutes, until they have turned golden brown, about 10 minutes. Also, heat the chicken stock in a saucepot until it reaches a boil. Decrease the heat to low and cover to hold warm.
Prepare the butternut squash while the onions are cooking. Once caramelized, remove the onions from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat, then add the diced butternut squash. Cook, sitrring often, until the squash is just beginning to soften, about five minutes.
Decrease the heat to medium-low and stir in the rice. Mix well, then pour in the wine and cook, stirring almost constantly (this is where the patience and attention come in), until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of stock and continue to stir until it has been absorbed by the rice. Repeat, adding the stock one ladle at a time until it’s all been absorbed by the rice. Check the rice for doneness by pinching one grain between your thumb and forefinger – you’ll know it’s done if the rice grain separates into three parts.
Remove the pan from the heat stir in the caramelized onions, rosemary, parmesan cheese and salt. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve warm.