This week's Meatless Monday supper was a fairly straight adaptation of this Ina Garten recipe. I halved it (except for the squash and shallots)—which made just enough for for Slim, Curly, and I + leftovers for lunch for me the next day—and I omitted the pancetta, substituted vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and added a bit of nutmeg (I love nutmeg and butternut squash together). I paired it with a very simple green salad to round out the meal.
|ingredients prepped and ready to go|
The first time I made risotto back in college, I remember being highly intimidated. I have no idea why anymore, but it is the easiest thing in the world to make. The ratio of liquid to rice does need to be right on (mostly why I stuck to the recipe so closely), and it does require attention... but if you can stir with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, you are pretty well qualified to make your own risotto.
|rice, just after wine has been absorbed, before adding spices or broth|
|rice with broth during absorption|
|rice after broth has been absorbed, ready for more to be added|
It is also incredibly easy to adapt in order to use whatever ingredients you have in your fridge or pantry. Essentially any vegetable can make a good risotto, cheese can be thrown in for good measure, and spices can be completely altered for different flavorings.
|finished risotto ready to serve|
And, highly exciting news, at least to me... Slim actually ate his (Curly only picked at hers)! Could it be my child (at least one of them) is starting to break out of the crazy picky stage??? Please let it be so!
Butternut Squash Risotto
Adapted from Ina Garten
- Yield: 2–4 servings
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
- olive oil
- Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste
- 3 C vegetable broth
- 1/4 C shallots, mined
- 3/4 C arborio rice
- 1/4 C dry white wine
- 1/2 tsp saffron
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Place the butternut squash in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for about 20 minutes or until tender.
- While the squash is roasting prepare the other ingredients so they are ready to go when you need them.
- Using a mortar and pestle if you have one—or the smooth side of a meat tenderizer and a cutting board if you don't—crush the saffron with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add nutmeg and set aside.
- Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce heat all the way just to keep it warm.
- While the broth is coming to a boil, heat just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a medium pot. Add shallots, and sauté until softened.
- Add rice and wine and stir until the wine is absorbed.
- Add the spices, stir, then add 2 ladles of the warm broth. Stir frequently until the broth is almost entirely absorbed.
- Keep adding more broth 2 ladles at a time and allow it to become absorbed by the rice before adding more, stirring frequently. Repeat the process until all the broth has been used.
- Remove from heat and stir in the squash.
- Top each serving with a bit of Parmesan cheese.
Meatless Monday is a world-wide movement to reduce meat consumption for personal health reasons and for the health of the planet. See more info here and/or check out this short video introduction: