Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ah, it's fall: random recipe post

I love fall food.  Fall as a season, meh.  It just means winter is coming and I truly loath most of the winter so it's hard to get too excited to see fall roll in.  But food makes it better.

I've made this every fall for a few years and keep tweaking it.  This time I may have gotten close to my ideal so it's time to record it.  (For your sake, I'll put one of those page-break things here.  Skip it if you don't care.   Other nonsense to follow soon.

Butternut Squash Fall Risotto.  This makes a TON.  Recipe after the jump.

Prep the squash:
One butternut squash, chopped in 1/2 and seeded, and then crescents.  Peel if you want or save that for later.

Brush lightly with olive oil and roast in a 400-450 degree oven for 20-30 minutes while you do everything else.  Eventually you'll pull it out, cut away the peel, and dice the softened squash into the risotto.

Meanwhile, do the risotto:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion chopped
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 - 1 cup white cooking wine (optional)
8 cups chicken broth (or 4 cups broth, 4 cups water)
1/2 - 3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 tsp or so of ground cinnamon

1. Heat olive oil in a large flat and deep saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in the hot oil until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add Arborio rice to onion mixture and stir to coat with oil; cook and stir until rice becomes translucent with white spots in the middle of each grain, about 2 minutes.

2. Stir white wine into rice mixture; cook and stir until wine is completely absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour chicken broth into rice mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed.  You'll basically add a little, stir, wait 1-2 minutes, and repeat about 10 times.  Somewhere around 10 minutes into this, toss in the apples and craisins.  Then get out the squash and start tossing the diced bits of that into the pot.  When the rice is creamy and most of the liquid is absorbed (20 to 25 minutes), remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon.  Then just stir it every now and then to let it soak up more liquid for a few minutes while you finish making other food.

I like it just like this.  If you prefer something with a hint more savory, some grated Parmesan would probably compliment it, or perhaps a few dashes of some poultry seasoning blend or thyme.   Even just some salt & pepper would cut the sweetness a little.  This makes SO MUCH.  I ate 2-3 plates of it and the kids each had a serving and I still had 5 quart jars full to set aside for my lunches this week.  The kids called it "dessert rice".


  1. Your timing is, as usual, impeccable. I just cut up a butternut squash tonight and only used 1/3 of it. This is perfect. Ah, friend. What would I do without you?

  2. Same thing I'd do without you: eat boring leftovers more often. :) I hope you like it. The Arborio rice is crazy absorbent and holds 4x its volume in liquid (i.e. 2 cups rice + 8-9 cups liquid). Ours came in a square-ish plastic container with a big round twist-off lid.