Eat Down the House: Butternut Squash Risotto with Saffron
Risotto used to instill this sense of awe and respect in me. Wow, you know how to make risotto?! Once I tried making it though, it is actually quite simple. And the major bonus is that you will gain the respect and awe of others . . . which happens to be my goal in life.
The basic risotto starts with oil (butter, olive oil) and aromatics (onions, garlic, shallots). Then you add in the Arborio rice and coat it with the yummy greasiness that is in your pot. Then you add the wine and let it all soak in. I believe there are fancy Italian words for these steps, but I do not know what they are. The next twenty to forty minutes consist of gradually adding broth in until the rice is cooked and creamy. You end with adding cheesy goodness, usually Parmigiano-Reggiano.
The ingredients chosen today were so chosen because they were in my house. We did not have any parm; so I used gorgonzola and two mystery cheeses (possibly also gorgonzola).
I had saffron from eight years ago, which is now officially all gone and inside this risotto. My next plan for risotto is with lap cheong (Chinese sausage) and shitake mushrooms. Can’t wait!
Butternut Squash Risotto with Saffron
Adopted from Simply Recipes and Ina Garten
5 tablespoons butter
¾ cups shallots, minced from 2 shallots
1 butternut squash, roughly chopped into small (½ cm) cubes
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups of broth, chicken or vegetable
½ teaspoon of saffron threads, crumbled
1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese
Chives for flavor and garnishing
Salt and pepper for flavor
Heat broth in a saucepan and keep simmering over low heat.
Melt better in a large pot on medium heat. Add the shallots and butternut squash. Cook until shallots are translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the rice and stir so that it is cooked with the butter and glistening. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and allow it to be absorbed by the rice.
Add broth in 1-2 cups at a time, enough to barely cover the rice. Sprinkle in saffron. Stir often. When the broth is absorbed, continue adding broth at 1-2 cups at a time. Repeat until rice is tender and the mixture starts to look creamy, about 25 minutes.
Turn to low heat. Add cheese. Flavor to your liking with salt and pepper. Garnish with chives on top and serve.
Other Recipes for Butternut Squash Risotto:
Eat Down the House items Eaten: 1 butternut squash from the fall, 2 bags of unknown likely highly-preserved cheese found in the fridge, Arborio rice, 2 shallots, remainder of the first jar of saffron I ever bought years ago, Mom’s brothy soup, and part of a bottle of white wine (the rest will be for drinking)